Ex-peacemaker alarmed by NLD incompetence

Zarli Myint Oo

Peace talks under the National League for Democracy government should have achieved more progress, Aung Min, a leading negotiator in the previous administration, told the media. 

"Peace issue cannot be achieved through firearms. There is only one way, which is a dialogue. This is a must. The NLD government now continues the dialogue process. In terms of system, they are not wrong. 

"But there must be progress in every meeting. After a meeting is finished, a statement must be issued. The statement must say which points are successful and which points have to be further discussed. Only then can we say a meeting is successful. A series of peace talks have been held. I don't hear many statements," said Aung Min, a former Union Solidarity and Development Party minister

He said the previous government led by ex-president Thein Sein signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with eight ethnic armed groups in October 2015 for the current administration to squander the momentum. 

Aung Min said he was helping with the peace process through outside channels as he was not authorised, although State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, before coming to power, told him to help. 

The secretariat of Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee has said that the Union Peace Conference or the second so-called 21st-century Panglong is expected to take place in May. The conference was postponed two times after it was due in February and this month.