The regime met with most of the armed groups of the Federal Political Negotiation Consultative Committee (FPNCC) on 15 December in Mongla, the headquarters of the National Democratic Alliance Army in eastern Shan State.
Prior to the meeting, Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) spokesperson Col Naw Bu told SHAN they wouldn’t be attending. ”I don’t know whether or not our central committee made a decision to not attend the meeting or if we were not invited,” he said without elaborating. The group’s armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army, is fighting the regime in Kachin and Shan states.
Maj Sai Phone Han, spokesperson for the Shan State Progress Party, told SHAN that the head of its liaison office would be attending the meeting but could not say much more about it except that they won’t release an official statement.
Ta’ang National Liberation Army spokesperson Maj Mai Aik Kyaw hadn’t been briefed about the meeting.
On the same day that the junta met with the FPNCC, it attacked the Karen ‘peace town’ Lay Kay Kaw in Myawaddy Township, Karen State, controlled by the Karen National Liberation Army Brigade 6. Recently, the military also attacked the FPNCC member group Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army with an attack helicopter in Muse District in northern Shan State, where fighting has been going on for months.
Other members of the FPNCC include the United Wa State Army and the Arakan Army. None of the seven groups have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. However, the KNLA’s political arm, the Karen National Union, signed the peace agreement in 2015 and the Burma Army is still attacking its troops.