(NCA) on October 15, in Nay Pyi Taw.
“According to what both sides have agreed, the NCA will be signed on October 15. Today, we met to set the date for the NCA inking. At the moment, seven [ethnic armed] groups decided at a recent meeting in Chiang Mai that they would sign the NCA. The other groups decided not to sign yet. So, today at the meeting, the government does not discuss who will sign the NCA as it opens the door for the groups that decided not to sign to join NCA inking,“ said U Hla Maung Shwe, of Myanmar Peace Center (MPC).
At first, seven ethnic armed groups decided to sign the NCA. These groups are Karen National Union (KNU), Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), KNU/KNLA-PC, Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO), All Burma’s Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), and Chin National Front (CNF).
On October 7, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) decided to sign the NCA, according to RCSS spokesperson Colonel Sai La, as RFA news agency reported.
“The other groups will not sign the NCA yet. We will negotiate to have all ethnic armed groups participating in the NCA inking. No one [ethnic armed group] said it won’t sign the NCA. But understanding was established that they [other ethnic armed groups] all will cooperate in political talks and political framework matter. We the groups that will sign the NCA will also take them along for the opportunity to be able to participate [in them], “said Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, KNU’s general secretary.
A meeting was held last Sunday at MPC, in Yangon, wherein representatives from eight ethnic armed groups and government were in attendance, and set the date for the NCA inking.
At the meeting, the government also promised that three days ahead of the NCA inking, the government will remove any ethnic armed groups going to sign the NCA from the list of unlawful associations.
“Today, at the meeting, regarding the groups that were announced as unlawful groups, the government gives promise that it will remove those groups signing NCA from unlawful association list. This will be 2 or 3 days before signing NCA,”said U Hla Maung Shwe.
The date and place for NCA inking was announced after the meeting, and the NCA inking ceremony will take place at Myanmar International Convention Center-2, in Nay Pyi Taw, on October 15.