In accordance with the decision of Members of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), the national-level political conference in Chin state has been under suspension. Consequently on 8 February, the Chin National Democratic Party (CNDP) has called on to lift the suspension for immediate inauguration of the national-level political conference in Chin state.
The postponement was made not because of unpreparedness of the Chin political parties and Chin Civil Society Organizations but unwillingness of the Union Government. For that reason, the CNDP released a Statement on February 8, with reference to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), calling the Government to give permission immediately to launch national-level political dialogue in Chin State.
“Concerning the national-level political conference in Chin state, Chin National Front (CNF) and the Chin CSOs have already made a well-prepared plan including financial support. The reasons for postponement of the conference said by the government and the UPDJC were just excuses whatsoever. We’re ready to launch the conference. So, we’re calling strongly for letting to hold national-level political dialogue in Chin State,” said Salai Ceu O Bik Thawng, general secretary of CNDP.
The second 21st Century Panglong Conference will be held in Nay Pyi Taw on February 28, the government has confirmed, after a meeting of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee at Thingaha Hotel in the capital on 6 February. Before the second 21st Century Panglong Conference, the UPDJC has decided to postpone national-level political dialogue in Chin State and Rakhine State.
Although, Chin and Rakhine states were under suspension, the UPDJC meeting reached a decision to hold national-level political dialogue meetings in the Pa-O Self-administered Zone, territory controlled by Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South, and Taung-ngoo in Bago Region.
Concerning the postponement of the national-level political meetings, U Zaw Htay, deputy director general of the President’s Office, said that it’s not meant banning the meetings.
“It is not intended Chin and Rakhine states are not allowed to hold national-level political dialogue at all. There will be more conferences after the second round of 21st Century Panglong Conference. Chin and Rakhine states have not been allowed to hold political dialogue for the time being and the decisions were made together by the UPDJC members in line with the situation,” U Zaw Htay told Khonumthung News.
In addition, U Zaw Htay said via media that CNF may not be represented the whole Chin society because the Chin locals even did not allow opening of the CNF’s liaison office and there is also a difference between southern and northern regions.
In response to U Zaw Htay, Salai Ceu O Bik Thawng said, “His reason is not reliable. He should not say such words that did not respect equal status among the ethnic societies. Some ethnic groups got permissions and some are not. Security and stability is better in Chin state than in Shan state. He should not say there’s a difference between southern and northern Chin regions. Which sources did he rely to say there is difference among Chin communities? He even did not visit Chin state as he lives in Nay Pyi Taw. We did not agree with his comment that made discrimination among our Chin societies. He should apologize for saying such kind of words.”
Due to the postponement of national-level political dialogue, the Chin National Front (CNF) said that they will have to review to attend the 2nd round 21 Century Panglong Peace Conference on 28 February.
Translated by Zin Linn for BNI