Jul 14, 2008 (DVB), Za Khun Ting Ring, chairman of the New Democratic Army-Kachin, a ceasefire group based in Pan Wah in Kachin Special Region (1) on the border with China, said the group is now preparing to contest the 2010 elections.
Za Khun Ting Ring said the decision to participate in the elections was supported not only by the NDA-K but also by the other ceasefire groups and political organisations in Kachin state.
NDA-K now intends to establish itself as a political organisation and start campaigning in Kachin state after discussions with the Kachin Independence Organisation and other Kachin groups.
He said the group also plans to restructure its troops in line with the new constitution.
"After the elections, we will be able to have a dialogue with government to come to an agreement , it will suit us better to transform," Za Khun Ting Ring said.
"It is likely that we will be disarmed in the future as part of the government's seven-step roadmap for the future. There will be no outcome if we don't comply with the steps."
Za Khun Ting Ring, 70, was the commander of the 101 military region which broke away from Burmese Communist Party control in 1989. In December of the same year, he signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in the name of the NDA-K.
The NDA-K participated in the national convention from 2004, along with other ceasefire groups, and supported the SPDC government’s seven-step roadmap to democracy.
In September 2005, a breakaway group led by the NDA-K secretary staged a coup aimed at taking control in Pan Wah.
In May 2006, a fight broke out among NDA-K members in the Kan Paik Tee area, since which the group has come under increased pressure from the government.
Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw