Min Thu Tha – New Mon State Party (NMSP) has announced that they will not accept the government’s proposed daft of a nationwide ceasefire agreement, which contains measures that are not included in previous agreements inked between NMSP and the Union government.“In practice, it is not possible for Myanmar Police Force to take responsibility for law enforcement in ceasefire zones. There are other points that are not included in agreements made when NMSP and the government met for state-level ceasefire agreements. We just won’t accept those points.”,said Nai Hongsa, Vice-chairman of NMSP.
Nai Hongsa also pointed out that parts of the draft indirectly mandate the disarmament of ethnic armed groups; all groups are forbidden to build new bases, recruit new members, and to produce, buy, exchange or collect arms.
Earlier this month the Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) and 17 ethnic armed groups met for two days of peace talks in Kachin state capital Myitkyina, where the government submitted an 11-page ceasefire proposal with 14 chapters.
“It’s called tax when the government troops collect money from locals, but when rebel groups collect money for their monthly or yearly stipend, it is said to be extortion. That is just unfair,” said Nai Hongsa.
Nai Hongsa also remarked that it is necessary for the government to take responsibility for land confiscation in cases of property used for government bases and Tatmadaw business projects, dating back to the military regime period.
NMSP plans to meet with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) before the upcoming ethnic conference to be held in Karen National Union [KNU] territory in Karen State.
“At the peace talks in Myitkyina, we proposed our topics to the government. Now we must draw up the details of our draft,” said Maj-Gen Gwan Maw, NCCT joint-leader and Deputy Commander-in-chief of the Kachin Independent Army (KIA), at a press conference in Rangoon.
NCCT is a 14 member committee formed at the meeting of ethnic armed organizations held late last month in Laiza, Kachin State. Nai Hongsa serves as chief leader of the NCCT, and NCCT’s joint-leaders are Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, General Secretary of KNU, and Maj-Gen Gwan Maw, Deputy Commander-in-chief of KIA.