Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A Burmese government national level peace delegation and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) signed an eleven-point peace agreement in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, on Monday.
A cease-fire agreement was signed in December 2011.
The peace agreement established a headquarters area for the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS)/SSA-S, declared operation areas for both sides, declared a cooperative plan for regional development, the reopening of liaison offices and the establishment of business ventures.
“These eleven points have been agreed to in principle. There are some other points to be raised, but we will discuss them at the second national level meeting,” a delegate told Mizzima.
Liaison offices would be opened in Taunggyi, Kholam, Kengtung, Mong Hsat and Tachileik, and trading offices would be opened in Muse and Nanhkan. The date to open offices was not disclosed.
The two sides agreed to negotiate areas where they can enter and agreed that each side would inform the other side in advance if one side wants to enter the other’s control area with weapons. They also agreed to cooperate in combating drug trafficking.
Withdrawal of troops will be discussed in the next meeting, according to sources close to delegates on both sides.
The Burmese government wants the SSA-S troops from Kengtung, Mong Ping and Mong Yawng to move to an area near the Thai-Burmese border. The SSA-S wants the withdrawal of government troops from Homain and Mong Hta, where the SSA-S headquarters would be opened.
“The subject regarding withdrawal of troops is the main problem. So, that will be debated. The government does not want to withdraw its troops. Similarly, the SSA-S does not want to withdraw its troops,” a source close to SSA-S told Mizzima.
The date to hold the second meeting between the government and SSA-S was not set. The SSA-S delegation was led by Brigadier General Sai Lu and Brigadier General Paung Khay. Eight delegates including Colonel Sai Hla and Lieutenant Colonel Sai Min attended the meeting.
Delegates from the government’s side included Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min; Forestry Minister Win Tun; Eelctric Power-2 Minister Khin Maung Soe; Shan State Chief Minister Sao Aung Myat; Border Affairs deputy Minister Zaw Win; Union Chief Justice Tun Tun Oo; Shan State Security and Border Affairs Minister Colonel Aung Thu; Colonel Kyaw Soe Lin from Ministry of Defence; General Staff Officer (Grade-1) of Triangle Regional Command Colonel Zaw Tun Myint; and General Staff Officer (Grade-1) Colonel Zaw Min Aye.
The eleven points agreed to in principle include:
1 To allow RCSS/SSA headquarters in Homain sub-township and Mong Hta sub-township
2 The government troops to negotiate and arrange in order that RCSS/SSA troops and their families be resettled in the locations mentioned in No. 1
3 RCSS/SSA will appoint village heads in the region; for township level administration the village heads will cooperate with government officials
4 Government soldiers in Homain sub-township and Mong Hta sub township to give help to RCSS/SSA; Both sides will discuss and negotiate to arrange for the security of RCSS/SSA leaders
5 Government troops and RCSS/SSA to negotiate to designate areas where they can enter in border areas
6 Each side agreed to inform the other side in advance if one side wants to enter the other’s control area with weapons
7 To open liaison offices between the government and SSA-S in Taunggyi, Kholam, Kengtung, Mong Hsat and Tachileik and trading offices in Muse and Nanhkan
8 Government ministers to arrange for SSA-S members to run businesses and companies in accord with existing policies, by providing helps and supporting required technology
9 To cooperate with the union government for regional development
10 To cooperate with the government in making plan for battling drug trafficking
11 The government and RCSS/SSA agreed in principle to the points discussed on January 16, 2012. Points will also be discussed in the coming second union-level meeting