Delegations of non-signatories of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement— United Wa State Party (UWSP), National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA ) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) held peace talks with the military council’s National Solidarity and Peacemaking Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) in Nay Pyi Taw on 20 and 21 July.
After the two-day meeting, both sides approved and signed the bilateral agreements made on the two-day negotiations and exchanged the agreements, according to the military council.
This interview with Lt-Col Sai Su, the spokesperson of SSPP, is about the discussions of two-day meeting between the military council and three northern allied groups and bilateral agreements signed at the meeting.
TLT: What were the discussions between the miliary and three northern allied groups?
Lt-Col Sai Su: Our three allied group and the Tatmadaw have held peace talks five times.
During the latest meeting, we reviewed our discussions in the previous four meeting and signed the agreements.
We also suggested that it is too early to hold peace conference due to ongoing situations across the country, and that we asked about their expectations from the conference.
The military expect signing of all signatories and non-signatories at the conference for peace-making process in the future. The military aims to make the agreements for the successive administrations.
We did not discuss holding peace conference as we think it is not a realistic and possible scenario.
The military presented their expectation during the two-day talks. We need more time to explain their discussions to our central committee members. And we responsed that we are not ready to attend their peace conference.
TLT: The military council stated that bilateral agreements were signed during the two-day meeting. What were these agreements?
Lt-Col Sai Su: We had no new agreements. We signed the agreements of previous four meetings.
They asked our views on their peace conference, and whether we support it or not. We did not reply their queries as we need to discuss their offer more thoroughly with our organizations.
So, we replied that we are not ready to attend peace conference. We discussed only these two issues during the two-day meeting.
TLT: Did you discuss local development programs at the meeting, and what is their view on this?
Lt-Col Sai Su: We discussed development programs.
They were not ready to reply some of our discussions.
Economic crisis of the country is a hurdle in development programs. For example, they cannot give construction materials in infrastructural development program.
TLT: Which agreements have been made in the five meetings so far?
Lt-Col Sai Su: We prefer dialogue rather than conflicts and silence to resolve the crisis.
Negotiation is a positive trend to solve problems. Peace agreements include measures to support peace, stability, livelihood, education and health.
We focus dialogue to avoid armed conflicts.
Situation of the country will worsen if battles are continued in negligence of.
Our three ethnic armed groups have a policy not to opt for armed struggle in solving political crisis.
And that we are making dialogues.
Although we do not expect a lot at present, we emphasize to ensure peace and stability in our areas.