Lt-Gen Yawdserk, leader of one of the strongest armed resistance movements, Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), is leaving for Naypyitaw today to join the 68th anniversary of the Union Day, marking the signing of the historic Panglong Agreement.
“As for signing the interim agreement (a halfway measure between the yet to be completed negotiations for the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the planned negotiations for Framework for Political Dialogue) on the Union Day, I will consult with other leaders attending the ceremony before making the final decision,” he told SHAN.
At his meeting with U Aung Min, Vice Chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) in Chiangmai on 5 February, the latter had emphasized the significance of his signature. “Your presence and your decision will serve as a rev up for other leaders’ decision,” he said.
The interim agreement which is yet to be publicized, or “even finalized”, according to an informed source, stipulates that all signatories agree to establish a federal union, speed up the NCA to a successful conclusion and start the long awaited negotiations for the nationwide political dialogue.
The government’s latest recommendations for 5th NCA draft have signaled major adjustments, according to the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC), set up by the government in 2012. “The UPWC, for instance, no longer calls for an immediate termination of the armed movements’ recruitment program,” said one MPC official. “Instead, it is opting for further talks on the topic.”
Other adjustments cover sticking points like Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and the formation of a Joint Supervisory Committee to oversee both ceasefire monitoring and political dialogue, among others.
Chairman Yawdserk and his 17 person delegation are expected to arrive in Naypyitaw this afternoon. His Karen counterpart Gen Mutu Saypoe is reported to be there already.
The list of the delegation includes names already familiar to the media: Brig-Gen Pawng Kherh (leader of the RCSS peace committee) Col Sai La and Lt-Col Hseng Moeng (spokespersons) and Lt-Col Yawd Moeng (Foreign Secretary).