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Uncertainty surrounds national political dialogue to be held in Mon State

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In the aftermath of the Union Peace Conference, national level political dialogues will be held in respective areas, by respective nationalities, and addressing respective matters. However, how these dialogues in Mon State will be held remain unsure, according to officials from the Mon National Party (MNP) and the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP).

Meeting of the national level political talk’s TOR drafting work group (Photo: Hla Maung Shwe).
Meeting of the national level political talk’s TOR drafting work group (Photo: Hla Maung Shwe).

After the Union Peace Conference – the 21st Century Panglong, held from August 31 to September 3 – the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) held a meeting to organize a political discourse framework analysis session from September 17 to 19 in order to carry out national level political discussions in respective states and regions across the country.

“Recently, a meeting focusing on framework analysis was held at NRPC [National Reconciliation and Peace and Center] but it is not confirmed how we will hold future talks and what we will talk about. What topics and matters we will discuss have not emerged yet. I can only tell you about this after it is confirmed,” Dr. Min Nwe Soe, AMDP’s secretary and member of UPDJC.

Dr. Min Nwe Soe also stated that the framework analysis that will be drafted during the meeting at NRPC from September 26 to 27 will be reviewed and then from September 28 to 29, the drafting Terms of Reference (ToR) for future national level political talks will be reviewed in Nay Pyi Taw.

“The UPDJC is drafting a framework for how to hold national level political talks. We can only talk about this after having the framework confirmed. We are now only at step one of drafting the framework and we can’t yet tell how the talk will be held in Mon State. We can also tell what talks should be recognized as national level, and as nationalities. But only after the framework is confirmed,” said Min Zay yar Oo, of MNP’s central executive.

It is necessary to have one collective voice from Mon people, although the New Mon State Party (NMSP) is worried about the potential problems coming out from the national level political talks in Mon State since the NMSP has not inked the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government yet, according to Dr. Min Nwe Soe.

The NMSP has not signed the NCA, although it already signed the state level ceasefire and the union level ceasefire with the last government.

The UPDJC officials formed the TOR drafting for national level political talks with 3 representatives each from the government, NCA-signatory ethnic armed groups and political parties. The UPDJC is also working hard to be able to include representatives from the ethnic armed groups that have only signed state level and union level ceasefire agreements, according to U Khun Myint Htun, the chairman of Pa O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) and member of TOR drafting for national level political talks.

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