Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Mon State Party to meet gov’t delegation again

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 21:54 Mizzima News

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Preliminary peace talks between the government and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) are continuing, even as the party conference is now underway in Ye Chaung Phya, the party headquarters.

Sources said the NMSP delegation led by General-Secretary Nai Hong Sar would meet with the central government delegation led by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min in Thailand within the next few days. Nai Hong Sar did not attend the party’s opening ceremony because of the talks.

The government delegation led by Aung Min held a similar preliminary peace talk with Karen National Union (KNU) leaders at Mae Sot, Thailand, on Wednesday. The delegation then proceeded to another location to meet with the NMSP, sources said.

The eight-party NMSP conference, which started on Wednesday, will last for three weeks. More than 120 members from Thaton District, Mawlamyaing District and Dawei (Tavoy) District are attending. The NMSP has about 700 members. Every five party members elect one representative by a secret ballot and the representatives attend the party conference.

The NMSP military adviser, retired Colonel Nai Kaung Yut, said that holding peace talks with the central government while the conference is going on is a good idea. “After the talks with the government delegation, the party will have a chance to talk about the meeting so there should be fewer errors,” he said.

NMSP Kyainseikkyi Township branch Secretary Nai Mon Chan Dane said, “All of us want peace. Nobody wants to fight. But, if we need to fight, we are ready.”

On October 6, the NMSP met with the government delegation led by the Mon State Minister for Security and Border Affairs, Colonel Htay Myint Aung, at the compound of government Infantry Unit No. 61 in Ye Township. On November 13 and 14, it met with a peace delegation led by influential Buddhist Abbot Sayadaw Bhaddanta Kaytumarlar of Kawpalai village in Kyaikmayaw Township at NMSP headquarters.

At that time, the talks discussed a halt to fighting, opening liaison offices and cooperating in undertaking business and development projects in the state. The talks included an agreement that both sides would inform the other side in advance if one side wanted to enter the other’s control area with weapons.

On December 16, before the party conference, the NMSP held a central committee meeting to discuss the cease-fire talks. The party supports the policy of the United Nationalities Federal Council, which has called for a nationwide cease-fire.

During the party conference, members of the central committee and the central executive committee will be elected. The NMSP’s first party conference was held in 1989. Since1995, when the NMSP signed a cease-fire agreement with the former junta, the party conference has been held every three year.

Meeting Government Delegation Meeting Location Meeting Date
No. 1 Mon State Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Htay Myint Aung Infantry No. 61, Ye Township October 6
No. 2 Buddhist Abbot Sayadaw Bhaddanta Kaytumarlar of Kawpalai village in Kyaikmayaw Township NMSP headquarters November 13, 14

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