Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brotherhood Forum urges gov’t to add historians to peace committee

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Brotherhood Forum, a group of five ethnic political parties that won seats in the Burmese Parliament, on Sunday called for historians to be included on the Peace Committee formed by the Lower House.

The forum, made up of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, the All Mon Region Democratic Party, the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP), the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party and the Chin National Party,  meeting in South Okkalapa Township in Rangoon, urged President Thein Sein to “add members who are respected people and scholars to the Peace Committee.”
Representatives from five ethnic political parties: the Chin National Party, the All Mon Region Democracy Party, the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party aka White Tiger Party, and the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party pose in front of the White Tiger Party office in Rangoon in this file photo. The five parties have urged the central government to form a peacemaking committee that includes historians. Photo: Brotherhood Forum
Representatives from five ethnic political parties: the Chin National Party, the All Mon Region Democracy Party, the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party aka White Tiger Party, and the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party pose in front of the White Tiger Party office in Rangoon in this file photo. The five parties have urged the central government to form a peacemaking committee that includes historians. Photo: Brotherhood Forum
Hla Saw, the RNDP general-secretary said, “Historians must be included. Because the affair is directly related with the history of Burma’s politics, we need to focus on historical backgrounds and facts. Former prominent politicians must also be included.”

On August 3, the group called on the government to form a peace committee and to hold peace forums. On August 18, the government issued an open invitation to ethnic armed groups, saying any groups that wished to talk about peace should contact the relevant state or regional governments concerned as a preliminary step.

Later, the Lower House formed the National Race Affairs and Local Peace-making Committee. USDP MP Thein Zaw of Myitkyina now leads the committee.

Earlier, the RNDP also called for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be named to the Peace Committee.

“There are signs that Thein Sein and Suu Kyi are building mutual understanding and are cooperating. She is a leader whom all can accept. If the government invites Aung San Suu Kyi, she should accept it, ” Hla Saw said.

Upper House MP Dr. Aye Maung, the chairman of the RNDP, made a motion to add Suu Kyi to the peace committee, but the house rejected it.

Hla Saw said, “Aung San Suu Kyi has not joined [the committee] because she is still discussing issues with the new government’s leaders. And she is still discussing whether her party will re-register or not. We hope that if those issues are handled successfully, she will be able to effectively lead the democratic transition.”

Meanwhile, according to sources close to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), the government has accelerated its fighting against ethnic armed groups in Kachin State and Shan State while it claims it is seeking peace.

SSA-N spokesman Major Sai Hla said that there were 308 battles between government troops and the SSA-N in nine townships in Northern Shan State between March 13 and August 31. The townships are Mong Hsu, Mong Yai, Kyethi, Tangyang, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, Lashio, Namsan and Nanhkan.

Sai Hla said 33 SSA-N soldiers were killed and 44 injured, and more than 500 government soldiers were killed and 600 were injured. He said that SSA-N troops retreated from 10 military bases including the headquarters of SSA-N Brigade No. 36 at the Namlaung base, and the headquarters of SSA-N Brigade No. 1 at the Mong Yai and Naungcho base.

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/6014-brotherhood-forum-urges-govt-to-add-historians-to-peace-committee.html
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