Wednesday, April 11, 2012

KNU, gov’t focus on cease-fire details

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:24 Ko Pauk

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Karen National Union (KNU) peacemaking delegation said talks are still centered on exact details of how to implement a successful cease-fire agreement, even though a preliminary cease-fire was signed earlier.

Talks continued in Bago on Tuesday, after the KNU met with President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the weekend in Naypyitaw and Rangoon.

KNU General-Secretary Zipporah Sein, right, talks to the media at the home of Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon on Sunday, April 8, 2012. Photo: Mizzima

Naw May Oo Mutraw, a KNU spokeswoman, told Mizzima that the details of implementing a cease-fire are complex, involving exact rules and regulations governing both sides’ armies. “Only if we can achieve it, we will be able to conduct a genuine political dialogue for the sake of the Karen people,” she said.

The government peace delegation led by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min and the KNU delegation led by General-Secretary Zipporah Sein met at the Shwe Wa Tun Hotel in Pegu [Bago].

Zipporah Sein said the government cease-fire code of ethnic was discussed in detail. “Only if both sides obey the code of ethics…can a secure and complete cease-fire be achieved,” she said.

Previous meetings were held on April 4 in Hpaan, Karen State, and April 6 in Rangoon.

The KNU says it is following four steps to peace: “The first step is to achieve a cease-fire; the second step, to achieve a permanent cease-fire; the third step, to hold a political dialogue; and the fourth step is to take part in politics.”

Earlier, President Thein Sein told ethnic armed groups that in order to establish a permanent peace, the groups must halt fighting, organize political parties and to enter into parliament.

A KNU statement released on Tuesday said the two sides would continue peace talks one step after another.

KNU took up an armed struggle against the central Burmese government more than five decades ago. The first peace talk was held on January 12 at Hpaan, the Capital of Karen State.

Zipporrah Sein said  recently that she believed that President Thein Sein seemed to be sincere in wanting to achieve peace throughout the country.

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