Senior delegates from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) met with State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time yesterday at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) in Rangoon.
The discussion was described afterward as a friendly family talk on the State Counselor’s Office Facebook page.
In a statement following the meeting, the UNFC, a coalition of ethnic armed groups, called for an immediate halt to Tatmadaw offensives in ethnic areas, particularly in the country’s northern regions. The UNFC also said that genuine nationwide ceasefire can be achieved only through inclusive participation of all ethnic groups in the peace process, regardless of their signatory status to last year’s nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).
It remains unclear which of the country’s 21 ethnic armed organizations, particularly those that did not sign the NCA in October, will be invited to attend the 21st Century Panglong peace conference scheduled with the government next month.
Sunday’s meeting reportedly included eight senior UNFC leaders including N’Ban La, Nai Htaw Mon, and Khu Oo Reh. Representing the government were State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Tin Myo Win, U Kyaw Tin Swe and U Moe Zaw Oo.
The meeting was a trust-building exercise between the UNFC delegation and state counselor, said Nai Shwe Thein, head of the New Mon State Party’s Foreign Affairs Department.