Representatives of the Arakanese Buddhist community, armed groups and civil society groups will rub shoulders with state government officials and MPs this week as the Arakan National Conference takes place in Kyaukphyu.
Nyi Nyi Maung, the secretary of the conference’s organising committee, said, “There are four main topics on the table for discussion: Democracy and Federalism; Natural Resources and Environment Management; Peace; and Social and Economic Situations in Arakan State. We expect positive results from the debates on these issues.”
Central government ministers set to attend the conference – planned from 27 April to 1 May – include President Office Ministers Tin Maung Thein and Aung Min, the latter being the government’s chief negotiator at ongoing peace talks between Naypyidaw and ethnic armed groups. Deputy Minister of Border Affairs Brig-Gen Maung Maung Ohn, who heads the commission to probe the most recent bout of mob violence in the region, will also attend.
On 26 April, Aung Min and Arakan State Chief Minister Hla Maung Tin held talks with local community leaders in Kyaukphyu at a meeting that included outspoken Arakanese nationalist historian Aye Chan.
Arakan National Network representative Tin Htoo Aung said the five-day meeting would include vital discussions on ending the various conflicts in Burma, and bringing about peace, security and development in Arakan State.