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‘Firm agreement’ made on federal union, says Thein Sein

In his monthly radio address to the nation on Tuesday, Burma’s President Thein Sein said a firm political agreement had been reached with ethnic armed groups to establish a federal union in the country. Full article here.

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Ethnic Naga leaders will attempt to absorb two more townships into the minority group’s self-administered zone, deciding to undertake the expansion push at a three-day conference in Khamti, Sagaing Division. Like the current self-administered zone, Khamti and Homemalin townships are home to significant ethnic Naga populations. According to historical records presented by researchers at the conference, those two townships were included in the former Naga Hills District, which was renamed by Gen. Ne Win’s Burma Socialist Programme Party government in the late 1970s. The Naga Self-Administered Zone is delineated in the 2008 Constitution, grouping Leshi, Lahe and Namyun townships in Sagaing Division.

Ref, The Irrawaddy, Publish, Dec 2, 2014

Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization and its armed wing the Pa-Oh National Liberation Army have signed a “Deed of Commitment” on human rights, according to Geneva Call, a Swiss based non-governmental organisation that encourages armed groups to respect international humanitarian norms. The PNLO were one of 35 armed non-State representatives who signed Geneva Call’s commitment to respect human rights, and prohibit sexual violence, child soldiers and the use of landmines, said the NGO on November 26. Geneva Call says that by signing the “Deed of Commitment” protecting children in armed conflict, the PNLO pledges, amongst other things, not to allow children under 18 to be recruited or used in hostilities and to strive to ensure children in areas where they exercise authority receive the aid and care they require.

Ref, Mizzima, Publish, 27 November, 2014

A 15-member committee assigned to draft a framework for the political dialogue due after a nationwide ceasefire agreement expects to finalise their proposal by the close of Wednesday. The committee, which is made up of representatives of 56 political parties, is holding what it hopes to be its final meeting in Rangoon, where it will lay the finishing touches to a document which is to be offered to both ethnic armed groups and a Burmese government delegation. Formed in September, the 15 political party members have met eight times to discuss and draft the dialogue framework.

Ref : DVB News, Publish November 19, 2014

A Burmese government delegation lead by Hla Maung Shwe travelled to Thailand on November 2 to hold ceasefire talks with the Shan State Army- South (RCSS/SSA). RCSS spokesman Col. Sai La said, “The government delegation explained the current situation in Burma, especially the recent quadripartite talks involving President Thein Sein, the Commander-in-Chief, parliamentary representatives and political party leaders, as well as issues surrounding the signing of a nationwide ceasefire, and subsequent political dialogue.” The Shan State Army- South intends to sign a ceasefire agreement, Sai la said, but is still in discussions on whether it will sign together with other groups or insist on a separate accord.” Nyo Ohn Myint from MPC said no significant progress was made at the talks this week.

Ref : DVB News, Publish, Nov 6, 2014

Burma’s President Thein Sein announced plans on Wednesday to hold a meeting between representatives of the government, parliament, military and political parties. Which will take place at the presidential residence in Naypyidaw on 31 October. The meeting will focus on the peace process, national reconciliation and the country’s reform efforts. The meeting is due to be attended by the following 14 individuals: President Thein Sein and his two vice-presidents; parliamentary speakers, NLD Chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi; the military’s Commander-in-Chief and Vice-Commander-in-Chief, Union Election Commission Chairman, SNLD Chairman Khun Htun Oo; Shan State Nationalities Democratic Party Chairman Sai Aik Pao, the National Democratic Force Chairman Khin Maung Swe, Than Tin from the National Unity Party; and USDP party.

Ref, DVB News, Publish Oct, 29 2014

The Burmese government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC)—the body in charge of negotiating with Burma’s armed ethnic groups—has suggested setting up a joint liaison body with the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) to prevent further hostilities in Shan State. The SSA-N met with the UPWC on Saturday at the Burmese army’s Northeast Regional Military Command headquarters in the Shan State town of Lashio, where lower house MP Thein Zaw from the UPWC proposed the government’s plan to form a liaison team that would include: regional police and military commanders; the minister for border and security affairs; and SSA-N officials.

Ref : DVB News, Publish 21 Oct, 2014

The secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy U Sai Nyunt Lwin has voiced his concern that the planned 2015 general election could be delayed due to military clashes and deployments in eastern Myanmar and some border areas. On October 15, the secretary discussed the topic of the 2015 election on the second day of a seminar exploring the views of civic organizations about Myanmar’s reform process. The gathering was entitled, Seminar of Civil Organizations on the Political Transition Process, and was held in Insein, Yangon. U Sai Nyunt Lwin claimed some political analysts feared there would be a postponement or delay in holding the general election at the end of 2015.

Ref : Mizzima, Publish, 16 Oct, 2014

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