Gen N.Ban La, Chairman of the 12 armed organization alliance, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), said on Sunday, 25 January, a proposal has been presented to President Thein Sein to host a ceremony for the signing of an agreement on federalism.
“If it is agreed then I’m ready to sign it as the chairman of the UNFC,” he said.
He explained that his proposition was made in reference to the President’s monthly radio address on 2 December when he reported: “A firm political agreement on forming a federal union, which is vital to the peace process, has been reached.”
The proposal followed media reports saying the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) that has been negotiated since 2013 between the government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the armed organizations’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), would not be signed on 12 February, the 68th anniversary of the historic Panglong Agreement as expected earlier.
“The UNFC represents not only the 12 member organizations that are members in the NCCT but also the other 4 that are its confederates,” he added. “The RCSS/SSA (Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army) is the only non-confederate.”
He warned that failure to achieve progress could place the peace process at risk. “I fear we may be forced to reconsider the role of the NCCT if our proposal fails to receive consideration from the government,” he said.
Details of the proposal were not disclosed.
The UNFC leader made a visit to RCSS/SSA headquarters on 19 January when he made the proposal to hold a summit of all leaders in the near future. The RCSS/SSA leader Sao Yawdserk had heartily agreed to that, according to him.