By Zin Linn
A regional peace talk in Taunggyi, Shan State (South), was held between government’s Union level peacemaking group and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)/ Shan State Army peace-making group Saturday morning, the state-owned New Light of Myanmar (NLM) said.
Union level peace-making group was headed by Aung Thaung (Taungtha Township Member of Parliament) and Thein Zaw (Myitkyina Township Member of Parliament). Other team-members were Ohn Myint ( Union Minister), Win Tun (Union Minister), Sao Aung Myat (Shan State Chief Minister), Maung Maung Thein (Kayan Township Member of Parliament), Maj-Gen Aung Kyaw Zaw (Commander of North-East Command), Maj-Gen Mya Tun Oo (Commander of Central East Command), Maj-Gen Zaw Win (Deputy Minister), Soe Tint (Deputy Minister), Tun Tun Oo (Deputy Attorney-General), Lt-Col Zaw Naing Oo and Col Aung Thu (Shan State Minister for Security and Border Affairs).
Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)/Shan State Army peace-making group consisted of group leader Sao Khay Tai (Party Central Committee and Deputy Secretary General) and Sao Khin Min, Sao Khun Hsai, Sao Khay Maung, Sao Kyaw Hla, Sao Htin Mein, Sao Laung Khay, Sao Naw Leik and Sao Hsay Pein Pha as members.
State level preliminary peace talk was held ahead of the Union level peace talk. Shan State Minster for Security and Border Affairs Col Aung Thu acted as leader of state level peace-making group on government side. Leaders of state level peace-making group of SSPP/Shan State Army Sao Khun Hsai, Sao Khay Maung and Sao Kyaw Hla and members Sao Htin Mein and Sao Hsay Pein Pha took part at the initial peace talk. According to the NLM, both sides signed five-point preliminary agreement and exchanged the notes.
The state-owned newspaper mentions five-point preliminary agreement as follows:
(1) To make ceasefire between the Government Army and SSPP/Shan State Army.
(2) SSPP/Shan State Army troops are allowed to base in Wanhai and to base temporarily in their branches.
(3) To hold mutual dialogue, liaison offices will be established in Taunggyi, Lashio and Kholan with the people agreed, by both sides. More offices will be opened in required places.
(4) Apart from the mutually agreed areas, transgression and arms carrying will be allowed under negotiation between both sides.
(5) Both peace-making groups will continue their talks for ensuring regional peace, stability and development, ensuring long-term peace in the region.
Government’s Union level peace-making group leader Aung Thaung and six members and Shan State Progressive Party/ Shan State Army peace-making group leader Sao Khay Tai and six members signed five agreements.
The five agreement points are published in the newspaper as follows:-
(1) It is agreed that to build peace, the preliminary agreement signed between Shan State peace-making group and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) in Taunggyi on 28 January, 2012 shall be approved.
(2) It is agreed that concerted efforts shall be made to ensure non-disintegration of the Union, nondisintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty at all times based on Panglong spirit.
(3) It is agreed that arrangements for improvement of livelihood and sociolife of Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) members and their families in line with law in cooperation with the government shall be made.
(4) It is agreed that cooperation with the Union government in a fight against narcotic drugs shall be made.
(5) It is agreed that further discussions and negotiations to ensure eternal peace shall be held afterwards.
According to Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.) referring Maj Sai La, spokesman of SSA North, it would be impossible for the SSA North alone to negotiate with Naypyitaw.
“All groups and all those concerned in Shan State must participate,” Maj Sai La said. “For this purpose, we have already asked Hkun Tun Oo (who was released on 13 January) to take the leading role.”
Hkun Tun Oo, 68, leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), is known to be respected by all Shan movements and other ethnic nationalities.
After SSA North signed a temporary truce with government, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Karenni National Progress Party (KNPP) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) become prospective groups to talk with government’s peacemaking team.