President allocates K7 billion for peace process
The Office of the President has allocated 7 billion kyats to the peace talks between the government and Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups.
The allocation, the first to directly cover the cost of the peace talks, is for the fiscal year beginning on April 1.
It was included in President U Thein Sein’s national plans allocation, which is part of the budget for 2014-2015, said U Kay Chun, a member of the Nay Pyi Taw Council, which is under the President’s Office.
He was speaking after tabling the national plans allocation budget in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on January 15.
There has been criticism that the peace talks did not have their own funding.
The peace talks were funded last year by Pyithu Hluttaw decision to reallocate money from a budget to provide housing in Nay Pyi Taw for MPs, who are lodged in municipal guesthouses.
The allocation was welcomed by Pyithu Hluttaw MP U Thu Rein Zaw (Union Solidarity and Development Party, Kawkareik, Kayin State), who said it was “absolutely necessary”.
Representatives of the armed ethnic groups welcomed the allocation, but expressed concern that it may not be enough.
The negotiations between the government and the armed ethnic groups are aimed at reaching agreement on a national ceasefire.
The government has insisted that a ceasefire precede talks on a political settlement between the two sides.