The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), popularly known as the Tiger Head party for its emblem, has since 28 December been meeting Shan State-based political parties for the preparation of an all Shan State conference, according to SNLD sources.
The planned conference will be a follow up of the Shan forum on Trustbuilding for Peace held in Rangoon, 26-28 November, that had reiterated the general call for a “genuinely” federal arrangement. According to sources from the SNLD, that had won the most seats in the 1990 general elections, the plan has already received approval from Naypyitaw.
“The Wa Democratic Party (WDP) is the only party we have failed to meet on this trip,” said Sai Nyunt Lwin aka Sai Nood, the SNLD’s General Secretary.
The conference planned for April will be inviting political parties, armed movements that have concluded ceasefire with Naypyitaw and “other political forces”, all Shan State-based.
Shan State-based political parties include:
- Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD)
- Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP)
- Inn National Development Party (INDP)
- Kayan National Party (KNP)
- Lahu National Development Party (LNDP)
- Kokang Democracy and Unity Party (KDUP)
- PaO National Organization (PNO)
- Ta-ang (Palaung) National Party (TNP)
- Wa Democratic Party (WDP)
- Wa National Unity Party (WNUP)
- Danu National Races Democracy Party (DNRDP)
Shan State-based armed movements that have signed ceasefire agreement are:
- National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA)
- PaO National Liberation Organization (PNLO)
- Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA)
- Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA)
- United Wa State Party / United Wa State Army (UWSP/UWSA)
The SNLD that has been spearheading the project said it has also met all the armed groups except for the UWSA. “Lt-Gen Hso Ten (patron of SSPP/SSA, close ally of the UWSP/UWSA) had undertaken the responsibility to meet its leaders and explain the plan to them,” said Sai Nood.
In fact, it was the UWSA that had urged the SNLD leader Hkun Htun Oo to hold such a meeting, said another SNLD source.
Hkun Htun Oo, 70, and Sai Nood, 60, who were sentenced to 93 years and 85 years respectively by the current government’s predecessor in 2005, were released on 13 January 2012 under a general amnesty.