In this Feb 12, 2017 photo, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at Panglong Peace Talk with ethnic representatives to mark 70th anniversary of Myanmar Union Day in Panglong, Southern Shan State, Myanmar. (Lamin Tun / AFP)
NAY PYI TAW – Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has called for taking time and perseverance for the government, the armed forces, ethic armed groups and political parties to reach consensus on the path to achieve national reconciliation.
The peace conference has reached a stage of discussing the basic principle of federal system and will open a new historical page of political dialogue which the people desire of.
Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counselor, Myanmar
She made the call at the opening session of the second meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference of Myanmar which kicked off here in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, on Wednesday, nine months after the first meeting.
The peace conference has reached a stage of discussing the basic principle of federal system and will open a new historical page of political dialogue which the people desire of, said Suu Kyi.
She outlined three main objectives of the conference to be pursued – emergence of a union based on democracy and federal system, signing of the nationwide ceasefire accord (NCA) by those who have yet to do so followed by a political dialogue, and open coordination on the path of national reconciliation efforts without exerting pressure.
She said the conference is to further discuss the 41 basic principles submitted through national-level political dialogue and agreed by the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC).
She also called for marching forward to overcome challenges with Panglong spirit that may be encountered in the course of peace pursuit.
Some 1,400 representatives from the government, the parliament, the military, political parties, ethnic armed groups and civil society participated in the five-day meeting.
President U Htin Kyaw and two vice presidents, State Counselor Suu Kyi, speakers of both Houses, Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Chairman of the Union Solidarity and Development Party U Than Htay and Chairman of the Kayin National Union (KNU) Saw Mutu Sae Poe, who represents the ethnic armed groups, attended the opening ceremony.
The 15 ethnic armed groups included eight signatories of the NCA and seven others which have yet to sign it. The seven – known as Northern Alliance – include Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Arakan Army (AA), Kokang's Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).