Controversial issues will not be discussed during Panglong Conference

Pu Zing Cung, chair of the Chin National Front and spokesperson of the NCA signatories’ Peace Process Steering Team (PPST), told the reporters that the ethnic leaders made the decision during the 21st PPST meeting, which ended in Chiang Mai, Thailand on June 12.

“We will not discuss the blocked issues such as issues on non-secession, self-determination, and drafting of state constitution during the third session of the 21st Century Panglong,” said Pu Zing Cung.

“We will only continue the dialogue for the issues that have not been discussed during the second session of the 21st Century Panglong. We will negotiate with respective organizations and the government on what will we discuss [at the conference],” he said.

The PPST plans to find solution to the blocked issues among themselves after the third session of the 21st Century Panglong and find ways to overcome the blockage with the government and the Tatmadaw, Pu Zing Cung continued.

The PPST also decided to host the third session of the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong in mid-July even though the government has slated it to June 30 as the time is too short for the EAOs to prepare for the conference with work committee meetings.

“It would be suitable to hold the UPC (Union Peace Conference) - 21st Century Panglong between July 10 and 14, but this is only the consideration from our side. We have our own respective groups so we need to discuss with the authorities and set down the date after making negotiations. This is an important decision set down by today’s meeting,” said Pu Zing Cung.

The PPST have agreed to hold plenary meetings, topic-based meetings, and group meetings during the Union Peace Conference.

“Polices have been set down. The first one is to collectively obtain an agreement that can carry out internal peace and national reconciliation. The second one is trust-building and political development. The third one is to implement an agreement that can support the building of a union based on democracy and federal system. The fourth one is to prevent an agreement that cannot actually implement democracy and federal system by using some provisions from the 2008 Constitution,” he explained about the important decisions that were made during the meeting on June 11.

Pu Zing Cung said the PPST needs to negotiate with the government over their decision to hold the conference in mid-July.

During a meeting that ended on June 11, an agreement has been reached for the EAOs to attend the Union Peace Conference even though they have not held ethnic-based national-level political dialogues.