A federal union means a federal army, says Aung Min

A federal union means a federal army, says Aung Min

President’s Office Minister Aung Min has said that if Burma becomes a federal union, it will inevitably need to adopt a federal constitution and establish a federal army.

Aung Min, who is the Burmese government’s chief negotiator in peace talks, made the comment on 10 November after discussing proposals by ethnic armed groups in Myitkyina, some six days after he received an 11-point plan agreed by an alliance of ethnic groups the week before in Laiza.

“If Burma becomes a federal union … we will have a federal constitution and an armed forces that is in conformity with the federal union,” he said. “This is acknowledged as the main principle of federalism, so there will be no challenge to it nor will there be anything to be worried about.”

Aung Min said the President Thein Sein is holding firmly to a policy of solving the armed conflict in Burma via political means.

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Ahead of last week’s meeting in Myitkyina between the ethnic alliance and government officials, leaders of 18 ethnic armed groups met in the Kachin Independence Organisation’s Laiza headquarters where 17 of the 18 signed an 11-point agreement pledging to work towards a nationwide ceasefire, with measures included to establish dialogue with Naypyidaw on steps to establish a federal union that guarantees ethnic equality and self-determination.

Lt-Gen Myint Soe of the Ministry of Defence told DVB in Myitkyina that the federal union envisioned by the Burmese military is one that is in accordance with the 2008 constitution.

Kachin leader Gen. Gun Maw Sumlat said a federal army must be established if Burma intends to establish a federal union.

Meanwhile, a loose coalition of ethnic armed groups are looking to facilitate a conference in Law Khee La territory in Karen state in December ahead of talks in Hpa-an with the government delegation.

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