Friday, December 16, 2011

World ‘looks down on us’ because of long wars

Friday, 16 December 2011 21:05 Min Thet

(Mizzima) – The leader of Burma’s Internal Peace Building Committee says the “world looks down on us” because of the 60-year long conflict with ethnic groups and the failure to achieve peace.

Minister Aung Thaung, a secretary of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and former Union industry minister, made his remarks at a press conference in Rangoon at 8-mile junction on Friday.

Former Union minister Aung Thaung. Photo: Mizzima

“As you know, there’s been no peace for over 60 years. These armed groups are still in our country even after 60 years. Our country is the sole such country in the world. So the world looks down on us and looks down on our entire country.

“We want our country to be freed from this situation. In other words, we want to fulfill the people’s desire,” Aung Thaung said.

He said that peace would be restored in the country during the tenure of the new government.

“We are very much taking care in choosing our words to build peace. I’d like you to know we are trying our best to change their attitudes and opinions…we shall restore peace during the tenure of this government,” he said.

Regarding the media at home and abroad, Aung Thaung said, “There are many media groups in the exile media. Many of them contribute to our country. Many welcome us. Some [have] pushed us.”

Aung Thaung’s peace negotiating team recently concluded talks with the Mong La group, giving them the right to reopen liaison offices and to work with the government in determining economic development projects in its area.

On Tuesday, The New Light of Myanmar reported that Aung Thaung’s group had also reached an informal cease-fire agreement with the small Klo Htoo Baw group, a breakaway group of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

He has also met with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)  in the Chinese border town of Ruili in Yunnan Province.

The KIO delegation was led by its chairman, Lanyaw Zawng Hkra, and the government delegation was led by Aung Thaung and his second-in-command, Thein Zaw, both former military officers and ministers in the previous regime. No agreement was reached.

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