UN chief calls for compromise

Sayadaw U Nyani Thara attends a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw.


The United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, besides attending the opening ceremony of the so-called 21st-century Panglong summit in Nay Pyi Taw on August 31, met President Htin Kyaw and religious leaders.

The meeting at the Presidential House with Htin Kyaw and Ban was also attended by the parliamentary Speakers and their deputies.

Details have yet to be divulged.

He also attended a meeting between government officials and religious leaders in the Kempinski Hotel on the same day.

The meeting gave each religious leader two minutes to say their piece. Everyone spoke and acknowledged the importance of peace and equality. We talked about putting hate aside and to work together to achieve peace. The secretary general highlighted that,” said Aye Lwin, chief convener from the Islamic Centre of Myanmar.

He also gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the summit, saying that practical compromises were the key to success.

I urge you to accept that no party involved in this reconciliation process can expect to achieve all its aims. Conversely, every side must win something if the process is to succeed,” said Ban.

As a sign of UN’s support in Myanmar’s complex peace process, he also met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on August 30.

In a statement, Ban congratulated the Panglong summit on a “promising first-step”.

He also highlighted the extremely sensitive nature of the “Rohingya” issue, which had recently surged back again with the appointment of Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan as head of an advisory committee on Rakhine State's religious tensions.

This is not just a question of the Rohingya community’s right to self-identify. The broader issue is that all Myanmar’s people, of every ethnicity and background, should be able to live in equality and harmony, side by side with their neighbours,” said Ban.

The ambitious Panglong summit will run until September 4.