Mon State government peace team arrives at headquarters of NMSP
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Five peace delegates from Mon State arrived in Ye Chaung Phya, the location of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) headquarters, on Saturday evening for two day of peace talks.
The five delegates include two former NMSP leaders; former NMSP central executive member Nai Tin Aung and former central committee member Nai Soe Myint; Mon National Democratic Front central executive member Nai Thet Lwin, Dr. Min Kyi Win and influential Buddhist Abbot Sayadaw Bhaddanta Kaytumarlar of Kawpalai village in Kyaikmayaw Township.
“We forwarded [Mon State government’s] message to here [NMSP]. They will decide whether they like it or not. We are not putting them under pressure. We are just trying to mediate between them for peace,” Sayadaw Bhaddanta Kaytumarlar told Mizzima on Monday: “We forwarded the Mon State government message. We are not putting them under pressure. We are just trying to mediate between them for peace.” . According to the abbot, it is unlikely that the NMSP will accept the Mon State Chief Minister Ohn Myint’s offer, but the two sides are still negotiating.
NMSP officials told Mizzima that they could not disclose the details of the meeting because the teams are still negotiating.
In September, the Mon State chief minister formed a delegation led by Mon State Energy and Electric Power Minister Nai Lawi Aung, aka Nai Myint Swe (former NMSP central committee member), to meet with the NMSP and submitted the plan to the central government. The central government rejected the plan.
On October 6, Mon State government delegates led by the Mon State Minister for Security and Border Affairs Colonel Htay Myint Aung and NMSP delegates led by central executive member Nai Tala Nyi conducted peace talks in the compound of government Infantry Unit No. 61 in Ye Township.
Nai Hong Sar, the secretary of NMSP and the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), told Mizzima in October that the NMSP wanted to discuss with the government only as a member of the UNFC while the government wanted to negotiate with the NMSP separately.
According to sources close to NMSP, when it signed a cease-fire with the former junta in 1995 there were more than 7,000 NMSP members but when the cease-fire broke in 2010 there were only about 2,000 members.
The Karen National Union, another UNFC member, also formed a delegation on November 10, after the Burmese government’s offer to hold peace talk.
Similarly, on October 29, the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army, another member UNFC member, met with a government delegation in Naypyitaw as initial step to peace talks.
To cooperate in resisting the government’s political pressure for individual cease-fires and its military offensives, the UNFC was formed on February 17. It comprises ethnic armed groups including six full member groups and six associate member groups.
In 1994, the former junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council, and the NMSP held four meetings at the government’s Southeast Command and achieved a cease-fire in mid-1995. Last year, the former junta ordered the group to transform into the Border Guard Force and people’s militia group, but the NMSP rejected the junta’s plan, and the 15-year cease-fire was broken on September 1, 2010.