Despite bringing a case against two Shan State soldiers for alleged illegal arms possession and unauthorized taxation, Tatmadaw officials have failed to show up for three of the four court hearings, according to a representative from the defendants’ armed group.…"
Karen organizations are accusing the government of abusing the ceasefire process to take advantage of investment opportunities with little regard for potential consequences to the environment or the local population. Full article here"
The United Nationalities Federal Council’s (UNFC) negotiating team ‘Delegation for Political Negotiations’ (DPN) team leader Khoo Oo Reh said that they just needed the nod from their parent organizations to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). Full article here"
The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has called on the Mon State government to expedite the return of three highway checkpoints that were allegedly seized by Tatmadaw forces earlier this year. Full article here"
A government peace delegation will allegedly meet with the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), also known as the Mongla group, within the week, according to an official. Full article here"
NAYPYITAW — Uncertainty over whether national-level dialogues will be held in Rakhine and Shan states is likely to impact the third round of the Union Peace Conference planned for the end of this year, said signatories to the nationwide ceasefire…"
State constitutions: a necessary step forward
A very positive development at the recent 2nd 21st Century Panglong Conference was the agreement that the states making up the future federal union of Myanmar should have the right (?) responsibility (?) to draw up state constitutions.
Ultimately, however, this very constructive development was put on hold due to the demand from the Tatmadaw that such constitutions must not contravene the 2008 constitution.
There is an important federal principle at stake here, namely that state and federal constitutions cannot be contradictory.
But Myanmar does not at present have a federal constitution, the 2008 constitution is that of a ‘union’, not a federal union’.
If the current political dialogue is truly federalist, then clearly states must be allowed and encouraged to freely draw up state constitutions, so that national dialogue can then focus on how draft state constitutions, and the existing 2008 constitution, can all be adapted to meet the needs of a federal union and a federal union constitution.
The Secession Issue
At the recent 2nd 21st Century Panglong conference, the Tatmadaw demanded a non-secession agreement. The predicable response was that some ethnic leaders demanded a secession clause. It would have been better at this stage if no mention was made of secession!
It would be good for all to keep in mind that a secession right was included in the 1947 constitution, precisely because all knew that the new Union of Myanmar was ‘on trial’. Clearly at that time the understanding was that ethnic peoples who had agreed to join the Union were unsure how they would be treated within the Union, so the secession clause was to reassure them.
If the situation after 60 years, is that ethnic peoples in some cases are unhappy with the treatment they have received until now, i.e. not reassured, it is hardly surprising that some feel unhappy with the unilateral un-negotiable demand for a non-secession clause.
It is up to the Tatmadaw and the Government to demonstrate, that things will be different in the new federal union. Only then will the idea of secession die away.
Land and Law in Myanmar ethnic areas
In 2016, Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) conducted two land-rights awareness projects in Shan and Karen States taking land knowledge sharing forums through local partner organisations to many townships and villages. This demonstrated clearly the importance of land law to the many people making up the rural populations of the different ethnic areas of Myanmar. This short opinion piece argues how important it is to ethnic people that land laws ‘fit’ their own local situation and customs.
21st Century Panglong Conference: the sub-national context of ‘political dialogue’ – (continued)
There is an urgent need to establish State based dialogues that can channel local concerns into national political dialogue. Part 3 of the EPRP Opinion series on 21st Century Panglong Conference here.
Rebel armies to attend peace talks
7 non-ceasefire signatory armed groups leave peace conference without reaching agreements in Myanmar
NAY PYI TAW, May 28 (Xinhua) — Seven Northern Alliance non-ceasefire signatory armed groups have left the second meeting of 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference on Saturday for home, one day before the end of the conference in Myanmar, without reaching agreements. Full article here
Peace deal for all closer: govt
Union Peace Discussion Joint Committee members said the Union Peace Summit or 21st-century Panglong had agreed policies acceptable to all armed groups, regardless of whether they signed the 2015 ceasefire. Full article here
Alliance of Ethnic Armed Groups Positions Itself to Meet With Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
Representatives from Myanmar’s peace negotiating team on Thursday met with a delegation of seven ethnic armed groups from the northeast that did not attend the second day of the government’s key peace talks, the chairman of the administration’s Peace Commission said. Full article here
Banned rebel groups to attend Myanmar peace talks
Myanmar moved a step closer to ending one of the world’s longest-running conflicts on Tuesday when it emerged that three previously barred rebel groups had been invited to peace talks. Full article here
Peace conference opens amid UNFC boycott
Hundreds of delegates from the government, military, civil society and ethnic armed groups have gathered for the opening of the Second 21st Century Panglong peace conference, amid a last-minute boycott by members of a key peace negotiating bloc. Full article here
- Voluntary Return, Restitution And The Right To Land For IDPs And Refugees In Myanmar
- Building Critical Mass for Peace in Myanmar
- Voluntary Return, Restitution and the Right to Land for IDPs and Refugees in Myanmar
- China and Myanmar's peace process
- Housing, Land and Property Restitution in Myanmar
- Taking the Long View of Burma’s Conflicts
- Legal Review of Recently Enacted Farmland Law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law
- Land Administration in Myanmar
Opinion & Analysis
Without the military’s collaboration, the democratic transition in Myanmar will go nowhere. Like it or not, it’s the realpolitik of…
A recent announcement from Myanmar Metals, a mining firm listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has described northern Shan State’s…
New Law to Protect Women, Girls Against Violence
YANGON — After four years of waiting, Myanmar’s first legislation tackling violence against women will be submitted to Parliament during the parliamentary session that reconvened on Tuesday. Full article here
Women’s group marks anniversary with commitment to improve rural lives
YANGON — Around 250 women from remote areas of the country gathered in the commercial capital Sunday to mark the second anniversary of May Doe Kabar, a group working to empower rural women in Myanmar. Full article here
Policymakers and Advocates Gather at Women’s Forum for Peace
More than 400 women gathered at a peace forum in Hpa-an, the capital of Karen State, for three days of discussion on peace and security for women, and to commemorate the International Day of Peace on Thursday. Full article here
Women March in Karen State, Demanding End to Armed Conflict
Commemorating the International Day of Peace on Thursday, women called for an end to all military offensives in Myanmar. Full article here
Forum Urges Women’s Involvement in Peace Process
YANGON — Participants of the Women, Peace and Security Forum in Yangon last week urged for more women to be included in Myanmar’s peace process. Full article here
Breaking the Devil’s Silence: Sexual Violence in Myanmar
Reported rape cases have sky-rocketed in recent years in Myanmar, with the majority of rape survivors being under-aged girls. According to the national police records, there were approximately 1,100 reported rape cases in 2016, 670 of which involved victims who were underage girls. Full article here
Thinking about Federalism (Bagan)
EPRP resource person together with the translator organized a discussion with Shan NLD MPs from the Pyittu Hluttaw and Shan State Hluttaw (16-18 October 2017) in Nyaung U (Bagan). The discussion was intended to share a broad range of issues related to Federalism. A total of 33 people joined it.
Thinking about Federalism (Kyeng Tung)
EPRP resource person together with a translator delivered a training to 22 youth from Lahu, Ah Ka and Wa groups from 10 to 12 October 2017 in Kyeng Tung. The workshop objectives was to build the confidence and capacity of ethnic youth in Shan State to enter into discussions about federalism.
IT Training in Keng Tong
EPRP IT trainers provided a training (10 to 15 October 2017) for 27 participants, members of RCSS and several CSOs and from different ethnic groups.
Thinking about Federalism (Taunggyi)
EPRP resource person provided a training on ‘Thinking about Federalism’ to 25 youth from Inn Thar, Da Nu and Taung Yoe in Shan State, from 16 to 18 September 2017 in Taunggyi. The purpose was to build the confidence and capacity of Shan youth to enter into discussions about federalism.