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Will Burma Army agree to move away from Karen Region?

By Zin Linn

It took place on January 11, the 19-member peace-talk delegation of Karen National Union left the border town of Myawaddy intended for first official ceasefire talks in Pa-an Town, capital of Karen State, with Burmese government representatives, according to the then media news.
Burma’s Thein Sein government had already expected signing a preliminary truce with the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the world’s oldest rebellions, at peace talks in Januay.
In January peace-talk, the KNU most important delegates are General Mutue Sae Poe, Padoh Saw David Taw, Padoh Saw Ah Toe, Brigadier General Johnny, Lieutenant Colonel Roger Khin, Major Shisho, Major Ei Tha, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, Padoh Saw Lay Law Hsaw, Padoh Saw Aung Maw Aye, Padoh Saw Shwe Maunn and Padoh Saw Eh Wah.
The KNU delegation had their prearranged talk on January 12 with representatives of the Burmese government in Pa-an, capital of Karen State. Former Railways Minister Aung Min has headed the Union Government’s peace team together with Industry Minister Soe Thein and Immigration Minister Khin Yi as members.
At that time, the KNU talked based-on eleven key points including a demand for the Burmese government to stop military operations in ethnic areas, to start a nationwide ceasefire as soon as possible, to guarantee the human rights and safety of civilians, to build trust, to plan development projects that allow full participation and decision making of local villagers, to immediately stop forced labor and to stop excessive taxation and extortion of villagers.
Then, second important meeting took place on 6 April at the Sedona Hotel in Rangoon. Railways Minister Aung Min, head of Burmese government peace delegation, offered a dinner for the KNU representatives at the Sedona Hotel on 6 April. Before dinner, railways minister Aung Min and the KNU’s secretary Naw Zipporah Sein explained their political position on the peace talk’s procedure and urged all people to work together for peace.
On that occasion, A large contingent of journalists, Karen leaders, other ethnic parties’ leaders, foreign guests and government ministers attended the dinner.
The 6-April peace-talk agreement looked like based on the key points of 12 January peace meeting. Both sides agreed to work gradually for a nationwide break in fighting and bring to end warfare in ethnic areas.
According to the then Associated Press News, the points agreed on 6 April included to work step-by-step for a nationwide cease-fire and end to conflict in ethnic areas; to set up a code of conduct to maintain a cease-fire that guarantees the security of the people; and to draw up plans to resettle internally displaced people and ensure work and food security in their home areas.
At that juncture, the Karen People’s Party (KPP) requests to bring to an end all armed conflicts between the government’s armed forces and Karen ethnic armed troops for the benefit of economic growth in Karen State, according to Mizzima News. However, as said by KPP general secretary Saw Say Wah, even though many schools and roads were built in Karen State, the armed conflicts have harshly affected the development of the region. As development and peace are well related, the state needs to seek attaining a mutual understanding.
On 25 August, the KNU announces that the Government of Burma has unilaterally postponed the third round of ceasefire negotiations between the Parties, previously scheduled for August 27th to 29th in the City of Pa’an in Karen State, according to KNU’s press release on Saturday. It says that the government’s representatives confirmed the postponement verbally.
Then again yesterday, Karen National Union said in a statement that its delegation and the government’s peacemaking team have agreed to meet on September 3 and 4, 2012 in Hpan-an, Karen State. The third round negotiations meeting will focus on the guarantee of safety for civilian and the building of trust progressively at every level of negotiations, the statement says. It also mentions two items that will be mainly thrashed out.
The two items to focus are: (1) The relocations of the Burma Army troops systematically from Karen State and other conflict ridden Karen areas; and (2) The Code of Conduct, which was drafted by the KNU and submitted to the government to negotiate.
KNU expressed its own belief that “the endeavor to achieve a lasting peace after decades of armed conflicts and political disputes will be possible through the participation and support of all concerned parties and stakeholders.”
The Karen rebellion has started on 31 January 1949. The Karen ethnic group initiated the armed struggle with the intention of self-determination ever since. Civil war broke out in Burma a few months in the wake of her independence in 1948 and cannot make a nonviolent solution so far.

Posted by BCJP on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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