Peace Process Steering Team Meeting (09/ 2020) held in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Mai
March 2, 2020 09:00 AM
March 3, 2020 04:30 PM
Peace Process Steering Team Meeting (09/ 2020) has been held in Chiang Mai, Thailand since this morning. The meeting will be held until 3rd March.
General Yawd Serk, the acting team leader of PPST, delivered the Opening Speech at the meeting. The Opening Speech of General Yawd Serk is as follows:
Opening Speech of General Yawd Serk, the acting team leader of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), on the PPST meeting (09/ 2020)
First of all, I would like to extend my warm greetings to all leaders who attend this 9th PPST meeting by saying, “Mingalaba in burmese language, and Maisoongkha in Shan language”! I pray that you all be healthy!
The primary purpose of this PPST meeting is to mainly discuss the outcomes from two of the negotiation meetings, held between the representatives of the government and our own negotiation team, in order to implement the 8-point agreement that we already made during our 8th JICM meeting.
Within the next two days of our meeting, we would mainly discuss activities we need to undertake prepare for the fourth 21st century Panglong conference, matters concerning the meetings of UPDJC and JMC, circumstances surrounding the holding of national-level dialogue, and ways for all relevant stakeholders to be able to participate in activities of the peace process.
As we deliberate our future work plan and next steps of activities, it is necessary that our discussion is in line with the current real conditions of what goes on in our country politically, militarily and what happens in the peace process. For instance, we need to pay attention to the constitutional amendment effort and debate going on in the Union Parliament (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw).
Strangely and interestingly, the day that we begin our current meeting coincides with the 58th year marking the very date of the military coup by the military – Tatmadaw- under the pretext of saving the Union from dis-integration. Even though those who staged the military coup back then may think that they rescued the Union from breaking up, for us- ethnic nationalities- we can rather say that this is the day that the Union became disintegrated and ceased to exist. We know that the Panglong promises, Panglong spirit, and Panglong agreement were the fundamental political arrangements and basis that had led to the drafting and adoption of the 1947 constitution, which virtually paved the way not only for our independence, but also gave birth to our country as a Union. From the time of abolishing the 1947 constitution that gave birth to our Union in the year of 1962, our union was also no longer existent.
Therefore, our mission is to discuss how we are going to rebuild our common union. What we need to do is to establish a genuine Union based on the principles of justice/fairness, liberty/freedom, equality, and in accordance with the Panglong promises, Panlgong spirit, and Panglong agreement that fully guarantees the right of national equality for ethnic nationalities, the right to self-determination, and democratic system.
I believe that we can surely achieve our shared objective of establishing a federal Union that we want if we all collectively prioritize as well as focus on the common interests of all of us and for our union first, as opposed to our own organizational and ethnic group interests in our ongoing peace process.
Currently, I understand that there are some issues of accidental military clashes between Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) and some members of our own EAOs that signed nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Such military clashes shall be resolved through a peaceful mean of consultation and negotiation in accordance with the NCA. As a matter of fact, we should not allow these kind of sporadic military skirmishes and misunderstanding affect our ongoing peace process that is gradually making progress towards our ultimate goal of achieving peace. We, as jointly owning the NCA, shall be fully responsible as well as accountable to the spirit, substance, and intention of the NCA.
Right now, there are over 50 countries around the world that are already affected by the outbreak of COVIT-19/Coronavirus. In conclusion, as you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) is trying with its utmost effort to contain the rapid spread of this virus, let us also do our part by prudently following all recommended cautionary measures and warnings of health-related directives. Thank you very much to all of you!