Respective leaders are working hard to achieve a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). However, although the government group and ethnic armed groups have held six rounds of talks already, the talks are not resulting in any gains for the peace process, but are in fact moving backwards; furthermore, the 7th round of talks has yet to take place.
Ethnic groups have been requesting a federal system in Burma ever since the country gained independence from the UK in 1948. Although previous governments rejected the request, the current government has started using the word “federal”. However, only time can tell whether there will be a federal system with equality and autonomy in the country.
Although every sector is important for the development in the country, if there is no peace, no sector will be able to achieve development.
Instead of having debates over whether it should be a four-sector dialogue, five-sector dialogue, six-sector talk, eight-sector talk or twelve-sector talk, respective seniors and leaders should give priority to engaging in nationwide ceasefire talks and inking such an agreement.
Once a nationwide ceasefire is agreed upon, only then may the government, political parties, ethnic armed groups and other respective groups hold political talks to establish a genuine federal union. Hence, from the Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA), we suggest “let’s work together toward achieving peace in 2015”.