No representatives from Arakan armed organisations have been included in the delegation of Burmese Government and ethnic armed organisation (EAO) representatives visiting South Africa to observe how the country carried out its peace negotiations.
Going to South Africa to represent the EAOs who signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) are: The Karen National Union (KNU) General Secretary Padoh Saw Kwel Htoo Win; the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) General Secretary (2) U Sai La; the Chin National Front (CNF) Vice-Chairman (2) Dr Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong; and the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation (PNLO)’s leading patron Khun Okkar.
Representatives of EAOs that have not signed the NCA are also taking part in the visit. They include: the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) Vice-Chairman (1) Maj Gen Gun Maw, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) Vice-Chairman Khu Oo Reh, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) General Secretary Nai Aung Min, from the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) Sai Hin Hseng, the Wa Special Region 2 Chief Financial Officer U Nyi Lin and from Special Region 4 (Mongla) U Sai Mauk.
The EAO representatives and eight representatives of the Burmese Government left Rangoon on 1 October for the visit, which is due to run from 1 to 9 October.
The Union Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor, U Kyaw Tint Swe, is leading the Burmese Government delegation. The other members of the government delegation are: the leader of the advisory commission for the Peace Commission, U Aung Kyi; the Rangoon Region Social Affairs Minister U Naing Ngan Lin; the Deputy Director-General of the President’s Office U Zaw Htay; and from the ministry of Defence Brigadier-General Sein Tun Hla and Lieutenant-Generals Yar Pyay, Aung Lin Dwe and Tin Maung Win.
When asked about the lack of an Arakan EAO delegate the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP)’s top leader Daw Saw Mra Raza Linn said she knew nothing about the details of the visit.
She said to Narinjara News: “We were informed about this visit at first but we don’t know what happened after that. The party’s vice-chairman U Khaing Saw Naing Aung also hasn’t given me any information about this visit, so I have no details about this visit to South Africa.”
The ALP is one of the eight EAOs that have signed the NCA with the Burmese government.
Currently there is ongoing conflict in Arakan State between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army. The state is also being destabilised by racial and religious conflicts.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI