Myanmar opposition, armed groups vow to build mutual trust in peace process

Updated: 2015-12-18 11:11


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Myanmar opposition, armed groups vow to build mutual trust in peace process

National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to Shwe Mann (not pictured), speaker of Myanmar's Union Parliament, during their meeting at the Lower House of Parliament in Naypyitaw November 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

YANGON -- Myanmar's election-winning opposition party and eight ceasefire signatory ethnic armed groups have vowed to build mutual trust and understanding and work hand-in-hand in the country's peace process, local media reported Friday.

It was discussed when chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi met with leaders of the eight armed groups for the first time in Nay Pyi Taw's parliament building.

Suu Kyi voiced NLD's support for the peace process, telling the armed groups not to worry about for her absence in witnessing the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) signing.

Suu Kyi expressed acceptance of a proposal by the armed groups to form a joint committee with the NLD to continue working for the peace process after the NLD forms a new government in accordance with the Nov. 8 election result.

The proposal will be forwarded to NLD's central committee for approval, she said.

Meanwhile, a finalized draft political dialogue framework between the government and the eight armed groups, approved by the union-level Joint Cease fire Monitoring Committee (JCMC), has been submitted to President U Thein Sein for further approval.

The framework for political dialogue inclusive of all stakeholders was drafted by a special drafting committee of the tripartite Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) involving the government, armed groups and political parties.

A union peace conference, led by the president, will be held in early next January ahead of the first round of formal dialogue planned for Jan. 13 in accordance with the timeline of the term of NCA reached between the government and eight armed groups out of 15 on Oct. 15.

The eight signatories of the armed groups are Kayin National Union, Kayin National Liberation Army-Peace Council, Pa-O Nationalities Liberation Organization, All Burma Students'Democratic Front, Chin National Front, Arakan Liberation Party, Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army and Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South.

The seven remaining non-ceasefire groups are Kachin Independence Organization, Kayinni National Progressive Party, National Demoratic Alliance Army, New Mon State Party, National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang, Palaung State Liberation Front, Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army-North and United Wa State Army.