Ethnic groups hope to sign peace pledge

The government and four armed ethnic organisations signed a pledge for peace and national reconciliation on the 68th anniversary of Union Day on February 12 while other ethnic organisations accepted the pledge but did not sign.

The ethnic representatives said that they would try to persuade the remaining organisations to take part in the signing because the proposals were similar to those demanded by the ethnic groups.

Present on the occasion were President Thein Sein, two vice-presidents, the Speakers of the Lower and Upper houses, chairman of Union Election Commission, 15 Union ministers, three MPs, three lieutenant colonels, 55 political parties, 29 ethnic ministers and the representatives of four armed ethnic organisations.

“The UNFC [United Nationalities Federal Council] members did not sign the pledge as they wanted to sign together. They explained why they did not sign during the meeting with the military chief. The military chief also clarified why he did not take part in the signing and he sent other military representatives,” Khun Myint Tun, chairman of the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation (PNLO), said.

“We have not signed the pledge yet because we want to sign together. Although we could not sign, all of our ethnic organisations will hold discussions in order that we can do so. We will try to sign,” Khun Myint Tun said.

The ethnic organisations that did not sign the pledge are the KNU, the RCSS/SSA, the DKBA and the KNU/KNLA. The UWSA and the NDAA were not allowed to sign the Union Day pledge.