Day Three. Saturday, 26 March 2016
We have all taken risks in the making of war.
Isn’t it time that we should take risks to secure peace?
- Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), British Prime Minister
The last day’s session begins with exhortation by the day’s chair Gen Mutu Saypoe:
“We have been able to draft the NCA, sign it, and have it ratified and enforced. I therefore want you to be proud of our achievement as I do”
The main item of the day is the question: Whether the EAO8 should set up a steering committee to lead them or just continue with the Coordination Team (CT) founded in October.
Some express concern that by having a “steering committee,” the whole EAO8 may become another united front and thus emerges as a rival to the UNFC. “This will pose as a big stumbling block to our efforts for unity,” says a participant.
In the end, the summit decides to adopt the middle way: a steering team, named the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) and a work team under it. In practice they may be roughly comparable to the outgoing government’s Union Peacemaking Central Committee (UPCC) and the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC):
Peace Process Steering Team
Saw Mutu Saypoe Leader
Sao Yawd Serk Deputy Leader
Hkun Okker Coordinator-1
Pu Zing Cung Coordinator-2
Khaing Soe Naing Aung Member
Yebaw Than Gay Member
Dr Naw Kabaw Htoo Member
The PPST will be responsible for giving guidance and supervision during the period between summits.
Peace Process Work Team
Saw Kwe Htoo Win KNU
Sai La RCSS
Saw Mra Raza Lin ALP
Pu Thla Hei CNF
Yebaw Sonny ABSDF
Saw Kyaw Nyunt KPC
Hkun Thomas PNLO
(to be nominated later) DKBA
The summit concludes with a closing speech by Pu Zing Cung, who is Vice Chair of the meeting for the day:
“We now have a Union Peace Conference (UPC) to sort out our problems politically. This has never happened before throughout our country’s past history.
The battlefield has also moved from the jungles and mountains to Naypyitaw. But instead of settling our problems militarily there, we are doing it peacefully.
I therefore urge all the EAOs and our people not to lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve lasting peace.”
I quite like his speech. I hope the readers do too.
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