Monday, December 5, 2022

Panglong Agreement Key To Resolving Burma’s Political Quagmire

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The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) spokesperson claims that the country’s current problems stem from the failure of the Panglong Agreement, signed by Aung San, the late father of imprisoned former Burma State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and many of the country’s ethnic groups a year before independence from Britain in 1948.

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“The 1947 Panglong Agreement has never been implemented and that’s the reason why the political problems cannot be resolved,” Col Oum Khur, RCSS spokesperson, told SHAN, adding that the armed conflicts that have plagued the Southeast Asian country since independence would be over if it is honoured. Earlier this month, the RCSS issued a four-point statement calling for the enactment of the agreement.

According to Oum Khur, the results of the recent elections hadn’t ended the political quagmire in Burma. “The current political crisis has to do with the 2020 general elections, but I don’t want to comment further on that. What I want to say is that all stakeholders, including the State Administration Council (SAC), political parties and other experts, can end this political crisis through political negotiations.”

RCSS SSA troops
RCSS SSA troops.

After the military toppled the National League for Democracy and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and many other leaders of the party following a landslide victory in the 2020 elections, it established SAC with army chief Min Aung Hlaing as chairperson.

Leaders of the RCSS and several other ethnic armed groups who signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement have met twice with the army chief for so-called peace talks in Naypyidaw.

In a statement in October, the Shan armed group, which fought with the Shan State Progress Party and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army as recent as last year, said it wanted to talk peace and build mutual trust with the country’s armed groups and solve political problems through political means.

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