Burmese army compromises for sake of peace, says Lt-Gen Myint Soe

Lt-Gen Myint Soe of Burma’s Ministry of Defence has played a leading role in difficult and at times fractious negotiations between the government and the Kachin Independence Organisation.

He spoke to DVB reporter Aye Nai about how he views the peace process and his hopes for a nationwide ceasefire.

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What is the Burmese army’s stance on the nationwide ceasefire?

The Burmese army is actively involved in the peace process in an effort to bring about a nationwide ceasefire. We presented the nationwide ceasefire accord drafted by the government to the participants at the meeting today and the Burmese army has compromised in order to make this happen

Is the federal union envisioned by the Tatmadaw same as the one envisioned by the ethnic groups, which guarantees ethnic equalitiy and self-determination?

Personally, I don’t know how the ethnic groups envision the federal union to be. But the federal union we want to have – the one we have been talking about – is the one that is in accordance with today’s constitution.

What is the Burmese army’s view on the national reconciliation?

We are facilitating peace talks to overcome the conflict; and because of the peace talks, we have reached an extent of understanding. The number of clashes in Kachin state has been lowered to be almost non-existent, apart from occasional clashes. So although we didn’t reach the signing of an agreement today, we made a decision to meet again and we can say this is a degree of success. Therefore, we believe a nationwide ceasefire will come about inevitably and due to this belief, we are engaging in negotiations.

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