Political representatives of Burma’s ethnic minorities including the Shan, Karen, Chin, Mon and Karenni have announced that they will hold a trust-building conference in September aimed at establishing a unified voice with which to engage in dialogue with the Burmese government.
The announcement comes after a meeting of ethnic politicians and representatives of various ethnic armed groups on 23 August in Taunggyi, capital of Shan state.
Speaking to DVB on Monday, Sai Leik, a spokesman for the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, said the delegates had requested permission from the minister of Shan state to hold such a conference and that they were looking forward to forming a political agreement.
“We will discuss issues relating to democracy, federalism and amendments to the 2008 constitution,” he said, adding that topics such as self-determination and equality would also be tabled.
Smaller ethnic groups such as the Pa-O will be represented at the conference while civic groups including 88 Generation and political prisoners campaign groups will attend as observers.
Sai Leik said that the ministers for Shan, Karenni and Mon states and their respective house speakers will be invited to attend, as will representatives of the Myanmar Peace Center.