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Burmese President Thein Sein has recommended that the final text of the nationwide ceasefire agreement between ethnic armed groups and the Burmese military employs simple and coherent language, according to mediators in the peace process.
During an informal meeting in Chiang Mai on Sunday between the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) and the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) – which acts as mediators in the long-running peace process – the MPC delivered advice from Thein Sein, said Hkun Okker of the NCCT.
“The MPC offered us a piece of advice from the president and discussed the concepts within the ceasefire agreement. But some of these issues can only be negotiated when they become part of the official text,” he said.
Hkun Okker added that the president had also urged that the ceasefire agreement be drafted in line with existing laws, as it will have to be signed in accordance with legal procedures.
So far, the government has proposed 13 suggestions for the ceasefire agreement, while the NCCT has proposed nine. Hkun Okker said that the two sides would need two or three more meetings before they can finalise the document.
Beside Hkun Okker, who belongs to the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation, Gen. Gun Maw of the Kachin Independence Organisation and David Thakabaw of the Karen National Union headed the ethnic bloc at Sunday’s meeting, while the MPC was represented by Hla Maung Shwe, Nyo Ohn Myint, Min Zaw Oo and Maung Maung Than.
According to Nyo Ohn Myint, the MPC delegation also met on Sunday with representatives of the Shan State Army- South (SSA- S) – which is not part of the NCCT alliance.
“We met with the SSA-S to explain what the government has done so far, what the MPC can do in this regard, how we can overcome certain obstacles and how we can provide the relevant information for the ceasefire talks,” said Nyo Ohn Myint.