All ethnic groups believe that only negotiations on the terms of the Panglong Agreement based on self-determination, federalism and ethnic equality will resolve the ethnic conflict in Myanmar. However there is no cohesive plan or body that represents all armed groups.
At present the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) is currently the most active ethnic alliance but does not represent all ethnic armed groups. Several of its members are also involved in the Working group on ethnic coordination (WEGC) which is administered and financed by the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office (EBO). The EBO is the main organisation responsible for liaising and coordinating the MPSI’s support for the peace process. Both the UNFC and WGEC have called for an alternative peace plan to the Myanmar government’s plan of urging armed ethnic groups to form political parties, contest in elections, and officially enter parliament.
Euro Burma Office & the Working Group on Ethnic Coordination
Director: Harn Yawnghwe
The EBO has been a key figure in brokering peace talks between ethnic militia groups and the government. They convened a meeting of all ethnic groups involved in negotiations with the government and hosted monthly “Ethnic Coordination” meetings before the Working group on ethnic coordination (WGEC) was formed in June 2012 which it logistically and administratively supports. Several of the WGEC members overlap with the UNFC and Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC).
The EBO is currently also the conduit for funds from the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative to the Working Group on Ethnic coordination. It aims to coordinate ongoing ceasefire negotiations and develop a common peace plan. Activities funded by the MPSI are primarily training and capacity building, provided by international NGOs of the International Peace Support Group (IPSG).
|Resource Persons||CSO||Ethnic States Representatives|
|1. U Khuensai Jaiyen
2. Daw Shelley Seng
3. Lt. Gen. Tu Tu Lay
4. Salai Leng Hmon
5. Col. Khun Okkar
|women org. reps
2. Saw San Nyein Thu
youth org. reps
3. Naw Seng
4. Kya Yi Shay
issue based org. reps
5. Ko Shwe
6. Ko Sai Sai
|1. Daw Saw Mya Raza Lin (Rakhine)
2. Sin Wah (Kachin)
3. Si Poh Rasein (Karen)
4. Nai Hong Sar (Mon)
5. Khu Oo Reh (Kayah)
6. Dr. Shwe Khar (Chin)
7. Saw Lamon (Shan)
8. Unknown (Shan North)
United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
The UNFC wants to hold peace multilateral talks with the government as a unified front instead of individually and also include international mediators.
16 Sept 2012:
More than 100 ethnic leaders and civil society representatives attended a three-day “ethnic conference” in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, to discuss how to implement peace in Myanmar which enshrines rights for minorities.
A statement released after the close of the ethnic conference said, “We do not believe that the peace plans from the government can implement peace in the country. Therefore, we formulated our own proposal which can build real peace.”
UNFC Six Point Plan:
1. to host a meeting with civil society and all ethnic armed groups
2. a meeting between all ethnic armed groups and government representatives monitored by the international community
3. referendums in each ethnic state to ratify agreements reached
4. a meeting with all ethnic people to talk about peace
5. tripartite dialogue between the government, democracy activists and ethnic people
6. implementation of agreements reached within a set timeframe
28 Sept 2012:
UNFC proposes ‘six-point ethnic peace roadmap’ to President Thein Sein
UNFC’s objection to GVT peace plan:
Points 5-8 — “are measures to control our armed ethnic resistance organizations and mould them into an entity as desired by the government, before any political settlement is achieved.”
27 Sept 2012: USA & UN
A joint delegation of the ethnic United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) arrived in the US to talk about Myanmar’s ethnic peace processes with US and UN officials.
25 Apr 2012: Japan
UNFC Central Executive Members, Dr. La Ja of KIO, Khun Okkar of PNLO and Saw David Tharc Kabaw of KNU visited Tokyo to hold talks with the Japan government on the current political affairs, its role on on-going conflicts and peace talks between the Myanmar government and armed ethnic groups.
18 Oct 2012: Japan
20 UNFC members were able to negotiate US$3million in emergency aid from the Nippon Foundation during a meeting in Tokyo. Their request for Japan to act as a mediator in negotiations with the government however has not received a response.
Karen National Union (KNU)
The Karen National Union (KNU) released a statement calling for “tri-partite dialogue so that all ethnic and political groups can be represented and a consensus can be reached and provide a stable foundation for genuine peace and democracy in our country.”
21 Sep 2012 KNU Statement on International Day of Peace
Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)
Deputy commander-in-chief Major General Gun Maw called for a second Panglong-type conference without parliament to help clarify the ethnic peace process.
He said that the constitution? cannot be amended solely by the Parliament because of resistance from Military representatives. And it’s impossible to hold a referendum. He told Aung Min that the KIO want to hold the conference without the Parliament. Aung Min has agreed propose the idea to Parliament and to assign Thein Zaw to the task.
12 Aug 2012 interview published on Burma VJ Media