The establishment of a federal democracy in the country and the implementation of equality for all ethnic nationalities under a new name which represents all ethnic groups for the benefit of the country should be discussed, according to Nai Hongsar, vice chairperson of United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC).
Nai Hongsar, also vice-chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), stated the above, in his speech on the 3rd day of the Union Peace Conference, on Friday [September 2]. It was the first of a three-part statement for the UNFC that he was delivering at the conference.
“Burma and Myanmar are the same. Everyone knows that. Burma is what was used in the past and Myanmar is being used at the moment,” said Nai Hongsar, in his speech.
He also pointed to whether it is “Burma” in English or “Myanmar”, as it only refers to the ethnic “Barmar”, just one of the ethnic groups living in the union.
However, former Lt. Gen. U Myint Soe, of Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), responded to a few of the ethnic representatives’ statements, in a meeting with reporters, “There are two divided aspects. The 21st Century Panglong Conference is for these discussions and they can speak their points of view. However, some points are possible, but for those deemed impossible, we will know better at a later date.”
33 representatives from political parties and other organizations discussed their views at the conference on Friday. There were five chairing persons for the 3rd day conference, including U Thu Wai, Dr. Win Myat Aye and 2nd general Tin Maung Win.
The statement from the UNFC, a coalition of ethnic armed groups, had three parts and were presented by three UNFC leaders, namely Nai Hongsar of the NMSP, Khu Oo Reh of the Karen National Progressive Party (KNPP) and U Htun Zaw of the Arakan National Council (ANC).
The UNFC is comprised of seven ethnic armed groups, and these are the Kachin Independence Organization, the NMSP, the KNPP, the ANC, the Shan State Progress Party, the Wa National Organization (WNO) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU).