Gov’t, ethnic negotiators hopeful of breaking impasse in August talks


Gov’t, ethnic negotiators hopeful of breaking impasse in August talks

The Global New Light of Myanmar, 29 Jul 2015

Yangon, 25 July — The government and ethnic armed groups expressed optimism Saturday about breaking an impasse on a draft national ceasefire deal at the next round of talks, despite holding different views on the number of signatories to the truce deal.

Government and ethnic negotiators the previous day decided to take a
recess until the first week of August in order to seek approval from their respective leaderships about unresolved issues in the negotiations, including the number of ethnic armed group to sign the ceasefire.

P’doh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, a member of the senior delegation of ethnic armed organizations, said at a press conference on the final day of talks that negotiations were set to continue for seeking an acceptable and practicable
way on a compromise to get out of the stalemate.

Despite the ethnic side’s insistence that the signing of the truce deal must involve at least 16 members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination
Team plus the All Burma Students Democratic Front, the government side has sought to sign the NCA with the 15 groups with which it has already reached bilateral agreements.

U Hla Maung Shwe, senior adviser at Myanmar Peace Centre, emphasized the importance of strict adherence to the deal, which has seen very lengthy negotiations, after its signing.

The government keeps reiterating its opinion that ways and means are to be sought for the inclusion of other groups in the peace process, he added. The MPC senior adviser stressed the need to compromise on the issue.

Pu Zing Cung, a deputy leader of the ethnic delegation, said the August talks are expected to smooth the path to the prospective treaty.

But the divergent views between the two sides on how many groups should sign the ceasefire deal could be an obstacle to whether the NCA is signed before the 8 November election, he added.— GNLM