The spokesperson for the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), the first ethnic armed organisation (EAO) to meet with the regime-appointed State Administration Council for so-called peace talks, said the meeting went very “smoothly”.
”We exchanged our opinions… we had no disagreements or different views” on building peace, mutual trust and a federal union with all ethnic peoples of Burma, said RCSS spokesperson Lt Col Oum Khur.
Last Friday, RCSS chair Gen Yawd Serk personally met with SAC’s top leader and army chief Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw. Col Sai Nguen and Col Shaung Han were also part of the RCSS delegation.
The SAC is meeting every three days in the Southeast Asian capital with the EAOs who have accepted their invitation. The New Mon State Party (NMSP) was reportedly next to meet with the regime’s leadership on Monday 23 May.
Other EAOs who have agreed to participate are the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army-Peace Council, the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation and the Lahu Democratic Union. All these groups, including the NMSP, signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) several years ago.
The non-NSA groups that are attending are United Wa State Army and the National Democratic Alliance Army.
While none of these groups are actively fighting against the regime,the Karen National Union, Kachin Independence Army, Karenni National Progress Party and Chin National Front, all engaged in armed struggle against the dictatorship, snubbed the meeting, which they called non-inclusive after the transitional National Unity Government and People’s Defence Forces were excluded.
The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front has also said it will not send representatives to the capital.