Some top members of the PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO) that concluded a ceasefire agreement on 25 August at the Shan State capital Taunggyi have expressed disappointment with the news report that appeared on the Myanmar Alin daily two days later.
According to the paper, the PNLO delegation led by Khun Myint Tun and U Aung Min, Vice Chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC), following the signing of the ceasefire agreement at the state level, had held a Union level discussion and signed a Union level 8 point agreement.
The text of the agreement, a copy of which SHAN has received, however says the said Union level meeting was a preliminary consultation for Union level discussions to be held in the future. The two sides had agreed only on the 8 topics to be discussed in the next round of negotiations, which include strengthening of the ceasefire, establishing a code of conduct between the two sides, cooperation against drugs and security of the people, among others.
“I know it is not a big thing,” said a member who asked his identity be withheld. “But if we can’t trust each other in small things, how can we in big things? Trust must be built on truth and never on untruth.”
The group, despite the dismay over the media report, is eager to continue with the peace talks leading to a national accord, another member added.
Thus far, the Thein Sein government that came into office in March 2011 has concluded ceasefire agreements with 13 armed movements. But it is still fighting against the Shan State Army (SSA) North and the Shan State Army (SSA) South both of which have signed the ceasefire agreements. Heavier fighting meanwhile is taking place against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) with which the present government’s predecessor had signed the peace agreement in 1994. The government’s 15 month offensive has already displaced nearly 100,000 people, according to KIA sources.