Peace process to complete before 2020 as participants ready for federalism: UPDJC

Min Naing Soe

Since ethnic armed groups have prepared fundamental federal union principles, Myanmar's peace process could be completed before 2020 if the government and military agree, said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, vice chairman of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC).

He made the remark in response to media questions at Myanmar International Convention Centre (2) on July 12.

He quoted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's speech at the opening of the third round of the Union Peace Conference also called the 21st Century Panglong Conference, by saying that the government would try to adopt fundamental principles to build a union based on democracy and federalism by holding three rounds of the peace conference in 2019. If so, the peace process would be completed before 2020, he commented.

"Frankly speaking, our ethnic armed organisations have presented these essential fundamental principles on democracy and federalism since the first conference. In the previous conference also, UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council) submitted them. We are already prepared. If the government and military alike give their approval, I think there could be no delay," said Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong.

In his speech at the conference opening, military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said bold steps must taken without delay in implementing the peace process. If the peace process took longer than it was necessary, there could be instigations, interferences and manipulations, thus undermining hard-earned trust and agreement, he added.

He also stressed the need to continue it till completion at the 2nd Union Peace Conference due in 2020.