To Hopeland and Back: The 28th trip

Source: Shan Herald Agency for News

Published on April 20, 2017, noon

Day Four. Thursday, 30 March 2017

If you want to gather honey,

Don’t kick over the beehive.

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

This morning, our special guest speaker is Khu Oo Reh, Vice Chairman of the KNPP and General Secretary of the UNFC. Coming from Loikaw at 05:00, he arrives at 07:30.

And today, we are hearing an update from him about the ongoing negotiations with the government. Being the leader of the UNFC’s Delegation for Political Negotiations (DPN), how he sees what’s going on is of much importance to all of us.

The extracts here are what I think haven’t appeared in the media, and if they do have, they may not be in context:

  • Clarification of the 9 point proposal to the government. Only 8 points are being negotiated. Point 9 is not for negotiation, as it is only a statement saying the UNFC will sign the NCA with the government after the above 8 points are successfully negotiated.
  • Some people have asked whether we want to deviate from the NCA path. We wish to reply that the UNFC’s purpose is not to wander from the path, but only to broaden it.
  • On 1 March, we spoken for 2 hours with the State Counselor. She was listening attentively to us and we were encouraged.

Two days later, we negotiated with the Peace Commission (PC) again. This time it was very pleasant and relaxed, unlike previous ones. In no time, the 9 points reached “agreement in principle.”

Asked why “agreement in principle,” he answers that for one thing, he didn’t have the mandate to sign. It must be reported back to the UNFC. “For another, we wanted to have our verbal agreement officially recorded, to make sure it is honored by both sides.” Still yet another (which he does not mention during his presentation) is that he doesn’t want it to be final without the participation of the KIO and the SSPP, whose memberships still hang in the balance following their participation in the Wa-hosted Pangkham Summit, that had jilted the NCA.

The main reason for the happy turnout of this meeting, with the government side was the Pangkham Summit, he reasons, but does not elaborate further...

Sai Khuensai

Opinion paper

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