According to Article 30 of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), decisions agreed during its negotiations should be referred to and included in its implementation.
Failure to disclose these decisions which were negotiated during the 9 formal meetings between the government and the armed resistance movements has led to several unnecessary misconceptions both by the public and, regrettably, even among those who had negotiated them.
For instance, Article 23 states that “a reasonable number/ ratio” of women representatives will be included in the political dialogue process. Decision #22 meanwhile specifies that “a reasonable number/ ratio” means “to strive to include 30% of women representatives.” The point was made clear only later in the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC)’s Terms of Reference (TOR).
It is therefore hoped that the following informal rendering of the 36 decisions will help clear at least some of the misreadings of the NCA.
The translator’s hope is that the translation does not rock anyone’s boat.
- Title The word “ceasefire” will be used for translation.
- Preamble The words “Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement” will be used for translation.
- Article 4 “စစ်ဖက်ဆိုင်ရာကျင့်ဝက်နှင့်ပတ်သက်သည့်နှစ်ဖက်အပြန်အလှန်လိုက်နာရမည့်
ပစ်ခတ်တိုက်ခိုက်မှုရပ်စဲရေးဆိုင်ရာကျင့်ဝက်စည်းကမ်းများ” means the agreements already entered into and “သဘောတူညီထားသည့်စစ်ဖက်ဆိုင်ရာကျင့်ဝက်များ” means Military Code of Conduct
- Article 5 (c) The definition of the word “အပစ်ရပ်နယ်မြေ” (ceasefire area) as well as the whole paragraph will be reconsidered during subsequent meetings
- Article 7 (b) Coordination on redeployment of troops will be based on the following
- Positions apparently threatening to those of the other party
- Positions susceptible to confrontations
- Positions in the proximity of civilian communities
- Article 10 (a)
- Approves “ပြည်တွင်းနေရပ်စွန့်ခွာတိမ်းရှောင်သူများ” as the Burmese designation for IDPs
- Both parties will strive to seek humanitarian assistance for needy IDPs and conflict victims during the ceasefire period
Note The ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) had objected to inclusion of the words “implementing delivery of humanitarian assistance with the approval of the government”
- Article 11 A joint work team will be formed to draft the military code of conduct (CoC),Terms of reference (TOR) for the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC) and military matters
- Article 12 (a)(b) The Joint Work Team will continue drafting monitoring models for the JMC
- Article 13 (a) TOR for JMCs at difference levels will be drafted and approved in accordance
with the terms agreed in the NCA within one month after its signing
- Article 13
- (The two parties) will coordinate for inclusion of locals acceptable to both parties in the different levels of the JMC mechanism if necessary
- “Locals acceptable to both parties” means local CBO/CSOs
- Article 20 Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) and Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team
(NCCT) technical team shall jointly draft the definitions of the terms used in the political roadmap to be submitted to the UPWC and the NCCT
- Article 20 (C) As the word “အမျိုးသား” (national) covers the whole country, the word “အမျိုးသားများ” (nationals/nationalities) is removed
- Article 20 (f) Items from the NCA and the Union Accord which require legal endorsement will be submitted to the (union) legislature for ratification
- Article 20 (g) The two parties will continue to confer on concepts related to “Security Sector Reintegration matters”
- The words “Security Sector Reintegration” mean Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)
- The two parties agree to jointly assure that negotiations on the security sector reintegration will not delay, obstruct or impair in any way the political dialogue at different levels
- Article 21 (a)
*actually 21 (b)* “ပါ၀င်သင့်ပါ၀င်ထိုက်သူများ” (relevant stakeholders) mean political parties and academics
- Article 21 (a)2 The Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) proposal “to approve the members of the government in the UPDJC after the TOR has been accepted” is provisionally adopted
*The wordings in Burmese here are unclear to translator*
- Article 21 (a)2 The UPDJC must supervise and be responsible for political dialogue at different levels
- Article 21 (d) Clarification on the words “issues that violate” ( the government’s
Three Causes i.e. Non-disintegration of the Union, Non-disintegration of National Solidarity and perpetuation of National Sovereignty) will be conferred and decided by the UPDJC
- Article 21 (e) Signatories will hold political dialogues with relevant stakeholders before seeking approval from the Union Legislature
- Article 21 (f) The decision-making procedure will be spelled out in the Framework for
*Actually 21 (b)* Political Dialogue (FPD) drafting
- Article 22(a) (b) “Ethnic representatives” means those who are not represented in the government, legislature, military, EAOs and political parties
- Article 23 “A reasonable number/ratio” means all parties will strive for inclusion of 30% of women representatives in the political dialogue
- Article 25 (a) There have been discussions to designate the definition and timeframe for the Interim Period
- Article 25 (a)1 There will be no impositions to limit or restrict educational programs run by the EAOs in respective ceasefire areas
- Article 25 (a)2 “Environmental conservation” will include coordination on land and resources management as proposed by the EAOs
- Article 25 (b)2 (Concerning planning of projects in ceasefire areas during Interim Period) To coordinate on land and resources management
- Article 25 (b) The two parties will be thorough and meticulous in carrying out projects planned inside ceasefire areas
- Article 33 The signing by leaders of both parties will strengthen the peace process
- Article 33 The UPWC confirms that government leaders led by the President will sign the NCA
- Article 33 It is agreed to invite signing by domestic witnesses, 10 as proposed by the EAOs and political parties and national race affairs ministers as proposed by the UPWC
- Article 33 UPWC agrees to invite international witnesses as proposed by the EAOs: UN, China, India and Thailand
- Article 33 In addition, the NCA will be signed in the presence of the following country representatives: EU, USA, UK, Norway and Japan.
- Article 33 Information on the NCA agreed by both parties will be published for public awareness
- Article 33 The UPWC will respond to the EAOs’ proposal that the 88 Generation Students be included in the domestic witnesses category
- Article 33 The two parties have agreed on every item in the draft with the exception of the EAOs that should be included in the signing
- Article 33 The UPWC will forward the proposal made by the EAOs for their top leaders to meet with the President
Note 9 top EAO leaders met the President on 9 September 2015
By SAI KHUENSAI / Director of Pyidaungsu Institute and Founder of Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N)
All views expressed are the author’s own.