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Ethnic parties to reach out to armed groups

Six major ethnic minority political parties that competed in the 2010 elections are planning to meet with armed groups to assist the government’s on-going peace plan.

The parties under an alliance dubbed the ‘National Brotherhood Forum’ include the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, Rakhine [Arakan] Nationalities Development Party, All-Mon Region Democracy Party, Chin Progressive Party, Phalon-Sawaw [Karen] Democratic Party and Kayan [Karenni] National Party.

The newly anointed forum will meet with armed groups from their respective ethnicity in August, according to the SNDP’s general secretary Sai Hla Kyaw.

“We’ll give it a go and negotiate individually with our respective ethnic groups involved in the peace process. Then we’ll combine all our findings and have an inclusive meeting with all the groups to find a solution,” said Sai Hla Kyaw.

He said the SNDP will meet with the Shan State Army-South and North while the AMRDP will meet with the New Mon State Party and the CPP will hold talks with the Chin National Front.

“After the meeting, we’ll draw a detailed plan to meet with concerned organisations,” said Sai Hla Kyaw.

The SNDP’s head said there is currently no political party representing the Kachin ethnicity in the forum, but the group said they would reach out to the Kachin Independence Organisation through NGOs.

The National Brotherhood Forum said they will release a statement regarding their plans in a few days.


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