Two ethnic armed groups support ‘Second Panglong Conference’ Skip to main content

Two ethnic armed groups support ‘Second Panglong Conference’

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and the Chin National Front (CNF) welcome the idea of  convening a “21st Century Panglong Conference” representing all ethnic parties and armed groups.

The
 Zomi National Congress issued a “Kalay Declaration” on Monday at a 22nd anniversary ceremony, calling for the reconvening of an all-inclusive “Second Panglong Conference” for national reconciliation. Photo: ZNC
The
 Zomi National Congress issued a “Kalay Declaration” on Monday at a 22nd anniversary ceremony, calling for the reconvening of an all-inclusive “Second Panglong Conference” for national reconciliation. Photo: ZNC
“If a Panglong agreement is really implemented, we would welcome it. Because the [first] Panglong Conference was intended to form a genuine Federal Union and it was based on equality. We understand that it intended to combine the states and build a Union,” Khaing Thu Kha, an ALP spokesman, told Mizzima.

Meanwhile, a third ethnic group, the Zomi National Congress (ZNC), issued a “Kalay Declaration” on Monday at a 22nd anniversary ceremony of the founding of the ZNC, calling for the reconvening of an all-inclusive “Second Panglong Conference” for national reconciliation.

A movement calling for an all-ethnic group conference with the new Union government including ethnic armed groups and political parties has steadily grown during the past year.

Talking about current fighting in ethnic areas, Pu Paul Sitha, the general-secretary of the Chin National Front, said, “It is sure that internal affairs cannot be solved by war. The new government continues fighting, and we can see that nothing is solved. Day after day, the civil war has progressed.”

To quench the flames of civil war, a national conference is essential, said a Chin National Party member, adding: “This is an issue that will not be solved easily.”

The Kalay Declaration supports building a Federal Union based on democracy and national equality rather than a unitary system. The declaration was signed by NLD leaders; Tin Oo and Win Tin, non-parliamentary groups and 11 prominent politicians.

The Panglong Conference, held in February 1947, was an historic meeting that took place at Panglong in the Shan States in Burma between the Shan, Kachin and Chin ethnic minority leaders and Aung San, head of the interim Burmese government. On the agenda was the united struggle for independence from Britain and the future of Burma after independence as a unified republic.

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