Whether to attend 21st Century Panglong Conference depends on CEC’s decision

Kyaw Zin Win

Ethnic Rakhine have asked the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) to allow them to hold national-level discussions, and their attendance at the 21st Century Panglong Conference depends on the response, vice-chairman Khine Pyay Soe of Arakan National Party (ANP) said.  

The meeting of the central executive committee (CEC) is due to be held at the end of April, Khine Pyay Soe said.

“Our party plans to hold a meeting. Our decision does not depend only on a single person. It will depend on the decision of the CEC,” Khine Pyay Soe said.

The committee for holding Rakhine national-level political talks was formed on February 15. The committee comprises of representatives of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), the Arakan National Party (ANP) and Arakan CSOs. A letter was sent to the UPDJC on February 22 to allow   national-level talks.

The committee held meetings with Rakhine people in five districts in Rakhine State and Yangon Region.

The Union Peace Conference, also known as the 21st Century Panglong Conference, was scheduled to be held at the end of February but it was postponed to early May due to various reasons. No date has yet been set.

In Shan State, the national-level nationality talks were permitted in places proposed by Tatmadaw (defence services). But the RCSS/SSA demanded that talks be held in Taunggyi or Panglong towns.

The RCSS/SSA sent a letter to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi asking for permission to hold the talks in Taunggyi or Panglong. If it was not allowed, they would have difficult attending the Union Peace Conference, Lt-Colonel Sai Ngin, the spokesperson of the RCSS said.


Translated by Win Htut