Nay Pyi Taw, 1 October
The military council has invited ethnic armed organizations to attend the 8th anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on October 15.
Junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing, said during the meeting on September 28 that it is necessary to hold the ceremony in a political sense, and ethnic leaders will be invited as much as possible.
Foreign leaders are being invited through personal letters or phone calls, and some countries will send representatives, said the junta chief, adding that all ethnic groups that signed NCA in the country need to attend the event.
Comrade Salai Yaw Augn, a member of the central steering committee of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), told Than Lwin Times, “Because of the coup, the NCA is meaningless, and we will not attend if invited. The Junta army is the one who violated the NCA.”
The ABSDF is an armed organization that emerged after the 8888 Uprising and is a signatory to the NCA, but is resisting the military regime due to the latest military coup.
Salai Htet Ni, spokesperson for the Chin National Front (CNF), told Than Lwin Times, “We will not attend the anniversary of the NCA when people are in crisis, and the NCA is no longer a way to solve political problems.”
The junta leader also said that groups that have not signed the NCA need to pave the way for them to walk on the path of peace by attending the ceremony.
Aung San Myint, Secretary 2 of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), that has not yet signed the NCA, responded to this statement, saying, “In our state, the 38th Battalion of the military regime is conducting operations, and every day, they launch air strikes and artillery shelling and destroy houses and buildings. What do we have to discuss at the event? The KNPP already has a policy that political problems must be solved through political means.”
After the military coup, ethnic armed groups in Karenni State, including the KNPP, Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), and People’s Defense Forces (PDFs), have been fighting with regime forces.
According to the Progressive Karenni People’s Force (PKPF), 380 civilians have been killed and 1,700 religious buildings and houses destroyed till August 31 since the coup, with over 600 junta airstrikes.
Colonel Naw Bu, the spokesperson for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), which is currently engaged in ground battles with the military council, said, “I have not yet heard whether the KIO Central Committee will accept the invitation for the NCA anniversary, and I don’t think we will be invited.”
The military leader also urged that if all stakeholders worked together with clear doubts, they would soon be on the way to peace.
The KNU spokesperson, Padoh Saw Tony, who said that the NCA was annulled because the junta army violated the basic principles of Chapter 1, told Than Lwin Times, “Firstly, the military must stay out of politics. Secondly, it must accept transitional justice and be held accountable for all crimes committed without impunity. Thirdly, they must accept the drafting of a new federal democratic constitution. Finally, they must accept international involvement at all levels of political dialogue. Only when these facts are accepted will dialogue take place.”
The NCA signatories—the Karen National Union (KNU), Chin National Front (CNF), and All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF)—walked away from the NCA and stopped negotiating with the military council. On the other hand, they have been resisting junta army in cooperation with the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in the fight to eradicate the military dictatorship.
Political analysts consider that the military council is trying to reduce international pressure by using the NCA ceremony as a political exist while it has been declining in military, political, and diplomatic activities for more than two and a half years since the coup.
News-Than Lwin Times