Burma’s military regime has invited several leaders of ethnic armed groups to a second round of so-called peace talks in Naypyidaw, which have been boycotted by most groups in active conflict with the military.
Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) leader Kyar Solomon’s meeting with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing angered some members of his party. The party’s chairperson said in a statement that the 22 August meeting was against the wishes of the party and that “Kyar Solomon is using the name of the LDU to visit with the junta chief”.
Khun Thurein, chair of the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation, and Saw Mra Razalin, deputy chairperson of the Arakan Liberation Party, joined the LDU during a group meeting with Min Aung Hlaing. Restoration Council of Shan State will then meet separately with the junta. The Shan State Progress Party, the United Wa State Army and the National Democratic Alliance Army will meet as a group with the regime leader.
Min Aung Hlaing claimed he wanted a joint agreement to restore lasting peace in Burma. Between 22 and 26 August, participants will discuss Chapters 1 and 2 of the 2008 Constitution, the Union Agreement Parts 1, 2 and 3, and the decision points of the Joint Implementing Coordination Meeting.
PNLO Khun Thurein wants to discuss the formation of a democratic federal union, a multi-party electoral system, allowing ethnic states to create their own constitutions and drawing attention to the emerging ethnic states in the country.
During the first round of talks, the military council met separately with the Arakan Liberation Party, United Wa State Party, National Democratic Alliance Army, New Mon State Party, Restoration Council of Shan State, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army, Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council, Pa-O National Liberation Organisation, Lahu Democratic Union and Shan State Progress Party.