In his opening speech to members of the government Peace Commission, Khu Oo Reh of the Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) said that after months of talks there was no trust between his organization and the government.The DNP is composed of representatives of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of armed ethnic groups that have not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government. Khu Oo Reh delivered his remarks on August 10 at the sixth official meeting between the two parties. The meeting took place at the National Reconciliation and Peace Center in Yangon (Rangoon).
“Looking back on our trust building so far, there is little to show for 14 months of talks, which I feel is a very long time. So, the level of trust is now at zero,” said Khu Oo Reh.
The two sides met informally on August 5 in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai to work out preliminary points.
“Although we have met often, we have been discussing and negotiating the technical terms and issues. It has now been 14 months. I feel that our meetings have not been productive because they have gone on for so long. I understand that part of the reason that we meet to discuss policy to solve specific problems is to build trust between our two organizations,” continued Khu Oo Reh.
In his opening speech, the chairman of the government’s Peace Commission, Dr. Tin Myo Win said that much of the DPN’s nine-point negotiation proposal has been agreed to.
The recent meeting saw the two parties discuss the nine-point proposal, a legal framework for their agreement, and other matters concerning the UNFC’s members joining the ceasefire agreement.
The UNFC members presented at the meeting represented the New Mon State Party (NMSP) the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), the Arakan National Council (ANC) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU).