August 18, 2020
The Union-level Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) held the 19th meeting yesterday to discuss preparations for the 21st-Century Panglong Conference which is scheduled for 19 August.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Union-level Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), delivered a speech at the meeting at the Ruby Hall of Myanmar International Convention Centre-I yesterday.
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong said that despite the COVID-19 crisis, the meeting was held because peace is significant for the country. He said that primary duty of UPDJC is to supervise political dialogues at various levels in accordance with the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, and the main objective of the political dialogues is to build a union based on democracy and federal system. He stressed that it is the responsibility of the UPDJC to formulate necessary democratic principles and federal principles to form a Democratic Federal Union.
He said that peace would be achieved and the 70-year armed conflict of Myanmar will end if a Democratic Federal Union can be built. He also pointed out that there were frequent obstacles in the ongoing political dialogue.
He believes peace will finally win, and overcome the worries, said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong. He also called on all the participants to exert significant efforts to make peace with great determination.
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson U Thu Wai
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson U Thu Wai expressed thanks to the officials from the sides of the government and the EAOs for explanations about extraordinary situations related to peacemaking.
U Thu Wai urged all the participants to be united to get good results in making peace. He said that all of them have a big ambition to achieve lasting peace and to develop a democratic culture, so all must have the spirit of self-sacrifice and take risks. He highlighted that trying to establish nationwide peace is “exceptional work”. He said he wants all participants to be “exceptional men”, and urged the attendees to be proud of the Union.
The meeting then approved the dates for the peace conference and number of representatives who will attend, substituting UPDJC members, explained and put on record decisions made at the 9th JICM, and approved the content of Part III of the Union Accord including the NCA implementation framework, the table for progressive processes and implementation steps beyond 2020, and the guiding principles for establishing a Union based on democracy and federalism.
The meeting also discussed the implementation process of sections 8, 11 and 12-(a) of the NCA which is included in the first section of Part III of the Union Accord, submitting reports from UPDJC and JMC to the peace conference, the daily programme and programme for the first day of the peace conference, conference moderators, dividing duties for the peace conference, and the list of rules for representatives to observe during the conference, among other general matters.
The Vice-Chairperson of the UPDJC, U Thu Wai, then delivered the closing speech. He said this UPDJC meeting was calm and admirable, and the State Counsellor’s address was supportive of the peace everyone is hoping. He said the comments from Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong were comprehensive and filled with real advice for the Union and ethnic nationals.
U Thu Wai said he was pleased that the Union Peace Conference would be happening and the Union Government and all stakeholders were striving their best to achieve the peace that all the people of the nation had been waiting for a long time. He said we are now another step closer to the goal of national reconciliation and peace, but the peace process is still fraught with challenges at this time. He said everyone implementing the peace process have to accomplish more than doing the right or good thing as they require the approval of all stakeholders. He said they also need to possess honesty and the skill to explain things straightforwardly as we all work together towards peace.
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong delivered a speech where he said this meeting was a success as it produced 9 points of agreement and one matter put on record. He noted that former President U Thein Sein sent the invitation for peace back in 2011 and they accepted it after much deliberation. He said the Chin National Front was participating in this peace conference as they had decided to do so on November 2011. He said they had never wielded weapons and honestly prefer resolving political issues with political approaches. He said meeting face-to-face to address the nation’s issue is better than going to armed conflict.
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Tin Myo Win’s speech
UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Tin Myo Win delivered an address where he said they unanimously approved of the 9 points of agreement at this UPDJC meeting. He said this is an example of the UPDJC’s resolve as it is tasked with the primary duty of ensuring the peace conference is successfully held from 19 to 21 August.
Dr Tin Myo Win said he first wants to talk about the political dialogue they have been working hard on. He said political dialogue is vital for ending armed conflict and achieving peace and national reconciliation. He said while the tripartite members of the UPDJC have held heated discussion from 2016 to now, there has been no loss of trust or respect as they are all working towards understanding and achieving peace.
He said the UPDJC has more to do to achieve national reconciliation and peace as the prolonged armed conflicts can make it harder to have detailed negotiations. He said armed conflicts would go down as more opportunities for political dialogue presents itself. He noted that the EAOs who have not arrived at the political dialogue would be further persuaded if the UPDJC produces more results.
He added that the second he wants to talk about is the national reconciliation and peace process they are working on. He said the peace process is more than stopping armed conflicts as it also involves peace-building, state-building and nation-building in the long run. He said the peace process they are working on today is not a zero-result process nor is it solely for the benefit of those participating in the discussions or armed conflicts. He said the peace process is for the future of the entire nation.
Dr Tin Myo Win said the UPDJC had held 14 meetings since 2016 and the Union Peace Conference is about to organize its Fourth Session and sign Part III of the Union Accord after reaching 51 basic principles of the Parts I and II. He said the Part III they approved of at this meeting includes 15 points related to the implementation framework of the NCA, five basic guiding principles for establishing a Democratic Federal Union, and a table detailing the processes of implementation beyond the year 2020. He said the formation of a guiding implementation process that can be utilized by the next government administration after the 2020 General Elections is an essential milestone in the nation’s path towards peace.
He then concluded his speech by expressing his gratitude to all the people, leaders, and UPDJC members who worked tirelessly to achieve these unique results for the nation.
Earlier in the day before the meeting, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi conferred peace-building and peace-keeping awards and certificates of honour to the representatives from the government, Hluttaws, Defence Services, EAOs and political parties who worked through the UPDJC from 2016 to 2020 in political negotiations towards national reconciliation and peace, essential for establishing a Democratic Federal Union.
At the meeting, the side of the government, Hluttaw and Tatmadaw were represented by UPDJC Vice-Chairpersons Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe, Dr Tin Myo Win (Union Peace Commission Chairperson), and Attorney-General of the Union U Tun Tun Oo; Union Minister U Min Thu, UPDJC members Union Minister U Thant Sin Maung, U Thein Swe, Dr Win Myat Aye, Nai Thet Lwin; Peace Commission Secretary Retired Lieutenant General Khin Zaw Oo, Lieutenant General Tin Maung Win, Major-General San Myint, Major-General Soe Naing Oo, and Brigadier-General Ye Yint Win from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army); Pyithu Hluttaw MPs Khun Maung Thaung and U Pyone Cho (a) U Htay Win Aung; Peace Commission advisory board members U Hla Maung Shwe, and Director-General U Zaw Htay of the Ministry of the Office of the State Counsellor.
The side of EAOs was represented by UPDJC Vice-Chairperson Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong (CNF), Sao Sai Ngern (RCSS), U Myo Win (ABSDF), Saw Mra Yarzar Linn (ALP), Pado Saw Tar Doh Hmu (KNU), Khun Myint Tun (PNLO), Saw Sein Win (DKBA), Saw Kyaw Nyunt (KNU/KNLA PC), Nai Aung Min (NMSP), Kya Salmon (LDU), Mi Sue Pwint (ABSDF), Salai Htalaw Hei (CNF), Dr Sai Oo (RCSS), Saw Samit Dunn (DKBA), Khaing Lynn Khaing (ALP), and Pado Saw L Kalusay (KNU).
The side of the political parties was represented by UPDJC Vice-Chairperson U Thu Wai (Democratic Party (Myanmar)), U Naing Ngan Lin (NLD), U Myint Soe (USDP), Sai Kyaw Nyunt (SNLD), Tar Hla Pe (Ta’ang (Palaung)), U Thein Tun (NUP), U Aung Kyi Nyunt (NLD), Dr Aung Myat Oo (USDP), U Oo Hla Saw (ANP), Khun Tun Shwe (PNLO), U Zam Zamone (Zomi Democracy Party), U Shwe Min (Lisu National Development Party), Dr Tu Ja (Kachin State People’s Party), Nai Tala Nyi (Mon Union Party), Daw Yin Yin May (Kokang Democracy and Unity Party), and Saw Tun Aung Myint (Kayin People’s Party).—MNA