The statement said that misreporting of the peace talks could cause both sides (the government and the ethnic armed groups) to misunderstand each other.
Nai Hong Sar, the leader of the United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC) said: “During the peace process the media have reported more than they needed to. Since they reported wrongly it will stir up more hatred between both sides.”
On 28th April the BBC Burmese Section reported that the ethnic armed groups were indefinitely delaying holding talks with the government about the nationwide ceasefire.
Nai Hong Sar said: “At that interview [with the BBC] I did not say the meeting would be delayed indefinitely. The media just used the wrong phrase. In fact what I told them was that we would have to delay the next meeting and I did not know when it would be rescheduled for.”
He said that some media groups, both state-owned and non state-owned, had also misreported and exaggerated about the KIA’s recruitment of soldiers. Because of these reports fighting in Kachin State could worsen and result in more damage.
The topic of misreporting was discussed at the one-day meeting between the UPWC and the KIO held in Myitkyina, the Kachin State capital, on 13th May. The topic was also included in a five-point statement issued after the meeting.
Also at the meeting both sides agreed to have five representatives from each side form a negotiating group to resolve the conflict in Kachin State. The names of the representatives have to be confirmed by 21stMay.
Unlike at the previous meeting between the UPWC and KIO, held from 8-10th October 2013, no senior or deputy senior generals from the military were present at this meeting.
The UPWC delegate U Aung Min and the KIO delegate Sumlut Gam jointly led the meeting. Also present were Mariann Hagen, the assistant for UN special envoy Vijay Nambiar, and Mr. Wang Yingfan, China’s Special envoy on Asian Affairs. 39 representatives from the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team/UNFC, PCG and ethnic armed groups also attended.
Nai Hong Sar said that at a meeting between Mr Wang Yingfan, the NCCT and the UNFC on 14th May Mr Yingfan said China would help Burma implement peace as soon as possible.