Insofar as the Union government’s agenda for ethnic reconciliation is concerned, there is little doubt that the north, where the most powerful rebel armies operate, holds the key to a permanent negotiated settlement.
The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), Burma’s main ethnic Shan political party, has strongly criticised the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) for what it says is the latter’s neglect of the concerns and political representatives of ethnic minorities.
A court in Sittwe Township has sentenced Khaing Myo Htun, a deputy information officer for the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), to 18 months’ imprisonment for remarks his organisation made last year that were critical of the Burma Army.
The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) must one day unite under the same banner, according to the leader of the former, who said that such a merger was ultimately necessary given Burma’s current political situation.
Min Htay, a central committee member of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) who was charged under the colonial-era Unlawful Associations Act, was acquitted by the Momeik Township Court in Shan State on Friday.
The third hearing in the case of a trio of detained journalists and three civilians on charges of “unlawful association” was held on Friday, with two of the prosecution’s witnesses failing to appear before the court despite being scheduled to do so.
The United Nations has warned aid workers in western Burma of rising hostility and imminent protests from troubled Arakan State’s majority Buddhists, some of whom say humanitarian agencies are giving support to Rohingya Muslim militants.
The dwindling alliance of ethnic armed groups joined under the United Nationalities Federal Council banner convenes a conference in Thailand chaired by a leader of one of its former members, the influential Kachin Independence Army.
The concerns of ethnic Karen refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) were raised on Tuesday, World Refugee Day, over the lack of a clear plan for the return and reintegration of those going back to their homelands.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will meet with seven allied ethnic armed groups that are not signatory to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on the sidelines of the ongoing 21st Century Panglong Conference in the capital on Friday, a government official has confirmed.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi opened a second round of peace talks under her government here in the capital on Wednesday, predicting that the coming days would bring “intense discussions, exchanges of views, debates and difficult decisions.”