Burma: PNLO signs peace deal with Government, amid uncertainties increaseBy Zin Linn Aug 27, 2012 7:12PM UTC
The peace-making group of the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) in response to the peace bid proposed by the Government of Myanmar (Burma)held talks with the State Level Peace-Making Group at the Taunggyi Hotel in Taunggyi Sunday morning, The State-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper said today.
The meeting was attended by Vice-Chairman of the Union Level Peace-Making Group Aung Min and Union Ministers, representatives of the Lower House and Upper House, Shan State Chief Minister Sao Aung Myat and state government members, Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Soe Htut and senior military officers, Leader of PNLO Peace-Making Group Khun Myint Tun, Deputy Leader U Khun Thurein and members.
At the ceremony, Vice-Chairman of the Union Level Peace-Making Group Aung Min made an opening speech, and Union Minister Khin Maung Soe, Shan State Chief Minister Sao Aung Myat, Deputy Attorney-General Tun Tun Oo, Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Soe Htut and representatives of the Lower and Upper Houses spelled out the attitude and suggestions over the state level peace-making process.
Next, Leaders of PNLO Khun Myint Tun, Khun Thurein and Khun Ti Hsaung explained the attitude and most important points on the peace-making process. Afterwards, the State Level Peace-Making Group and peace negotiators from the PNLO discussed the five-point agreement reached in principle by both sides on 27 June 2012.
On June 27, leader of PNLO Khun Ukka and the Pa-oh delegates met with Aung Min. they have agreed on 7-points ceasefire draft agreement. Previous to 27-June meeting, PNLO leaders had meetings with Minister Aung Min twice and there PNLO called for putting the political necessities.
As said by the State-run media, Sunday’s talks accomplished a 5-point opening contract.
Five points are – (1) both sides ceased attacks as of 25 August 2012; (2) both sides agreed to be positioned at designated areas; (3) both sides agreed not to take arms to other regions except the designated areas; (4) both sides agreed establishing liaison offices without arms at Taunggyi, Hsihseng, Maukmai; (5) it is agreed to publicly form the representative group to hold talks with the state level peace-making group, and to start the Union level peace talks during a period of three months beginning 25 August 2012. Government’s representatives of the state level peace-making group and the PNLO signed the agreement.
Subsequently, Union Peace-Making Work Committee and the PNLO’s representatives held the Union level peace talks. They reached and signed the Union level eight-point agreement. As said by the State-run media, the 8 points are as follows:-
(a) To make more dialogue on truce to be held stronger.
(b) To bring together issues caused by code of conduct.
(c) To give support by Union Peace-Making Work Committee for running liaison offices.
(d) To continue going with the location of PNLO/ PNLA troops.
(e) To bring together matters on cooperation fighting against narcotic drugs.
(f) To coordinate subjects on media.
(g) To manage jointly matters on foods, clothing and shelters of troops.
(h) To bring together matters on public security and basic agriculture.
The PNLO disintegrated from the ceasefire group known as Shan State Nationalities Peoples’ Liberation Organization (SSNPLO) in 2007.
On behalf of the Shan State Nationalities People’s Liberation Organization (SSNPLO),Chairman Chit Maung, commanding officer Chit Aung of No 943 battalion and Kyaw Win Khaing unconditionally laid down arms to Commander Maj-Gen Thaung Aye of Burma Army, State-run media informed on 27 July, 2007.
Chairman Chit Maung of SSNPLO explained the purpose of unconditionally exchanging arms for peace and expressed gratitude to the then junta. On that occasion, a 137-member armed group led by SSNPLO Chairman Chit Maung totally exchanged arms for peace with various guns, assorted ammunition and grenades.
Chairman Chit Maung of SSNPLO delivered a speech at a ceremony in Banyin Model Village of Hsihseng Township, Shan State (South) on 26 July 2007.
“As our armed opposition against the government continued for many years we began to realize that our acts did not benefit the local people, the nation and ourselves. Realizing that it would be conducive to the democratic system to carry out activities in accordance with the provisions of the enduring constitution that is being formulated by the State, our group decided to disarm ourselves,” Chit Maung said.
The SSNPLO or the Red Pa-Os due to their leftist standpoint made a first time ceasefire agreement with the Burmese junta in 1994 and attended the regime’s National Convention.
Some observers said, the government exercise divide-and-rule strategy among ethnic armed groups, it shows aggression on ceasefire ethnic groups like KIO while having fair relationship with KNU.
Additionally, Burma Army has given an ultimatum to Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) to leave the base stationed southeast of Wan Hai Headquarters, reported an SSA/SSPP official, according to today Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.).
Since President Thein Sein’s 18/8/2011 peace-talks offer, SSPP and Union Peacemaking Work Committee has signed a 7 point peace agreement on Jan 28, 2012. The government agreed to withdraw its battalions surrounding Wanhai Headquarters within 5 days. Still, after 7 months, none of the Burma Army battalions have withdrawn. As a result, there have already been more than 30 engagements with Burma Army,” said Major Sai La.
While seeking peace accord with President Thein Sein’s peacemaking team, his army fails to honour the truce or recognition of the terms of treaty. If the official ceasefire agreements are not honored by the government soldiers, it will be nonsense for the ethnic armed groups to sign an accord with untrustworthy government.