NATIONAL-LEVEL POLITICAL DIALOGUE: The eighth UPDJC meeting a step forward?

The much awaited Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) meeting from 28 to 29 October in Naypyitaw was hailed as a step forward in conducting the peace process. But whether this forcefully pushed agenda would really stimulate the ongoing snail-paced movement is the topic that needs more in-depth observation.


As the war in Kachin and Shan States has been going on and off for a few years, with a newly exploded rebellion of the Rohingya in Arakan State, the peace negotiation limps along even though the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has declared that time is running out to end the conflict, attaching rigid time-frame to speed up the process.

IS PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE POSSIBLE? : Mounting offensives against ethnic armies and new violent outburst in Arakan State

Quite a lot of happening have been unfolding during the last few days. But the most outstanding one is the new conflict in Arakan State, between the militant “Rohingya”, that the Burmese government and the Arakan nationalist prefer to dub as “Bengali”, and the government’s security forces. And thus, the previous headline hitting news of the Tatmadaw’s (military) offensives in Kachin, Shan and Karen States, followed by the anti-war demonstrations in Myitkyina and elsewhere were somewhat pushed back to become a back burner.

Ending conflict in Myanmar

Could military reorganisation be the answer?

As we move towards the end of the year, civil war continues to rage across the country especially in Kachin State. Numerous negotiations have taken places but to date, no quantifiable results can be seen.

Is the peace process beginning to collapse?

Air strikes, artillery offensives, thousands of civilians fleeing their homes. This is what's been happening over the last few weeks in northern Myanmar. And it has been happening as Myanmar's new government under the leadership of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been trying so hard to restart a heavily flawed peace process.

Mong Ton Dam issue fast becoming a Shan’s “Alamo”?

“Drowning a Thousand Island” documentary film produced by Action for Shan State Rivers launched on 21 September in Rangoon, Taunggyi, Kengtung and Chaing Mai portrays the forced exodus tragedy of the Kun Hing area, while revealing the unique natural beauty of the “Thousand Island” area along the Pang River tributary of the Salween, which is presently being threatened by plans to build the massive Mong Ton Dam in southern Shan State.

Trouble in the Other Golden Triangle

Slowly as the years go on,

You lose friends you never thought you would.

Xzavier Zulu, Kushandwizdom

I was told in early September following the conclusion of the “historic” Union Peace Conference (21st  Century Panglong),  United Wa State Army (UWSA) leaders had expressed their displeasure with its closest ally Mongla,  officially known as National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), for sending delegation led by its supreme leader Sai Leun aka Lin Mingxian himself to participate in the conference. The UWSA meanwhile had dispatched only a mission led by Hsarm Lawd, Tachilek based head of the liaison office, who returned after attending the opening ceremony on 31 August, when he charged his hosts of discriminate treatment.

Build relationship, not dams

The best would be if this country adopted a more regional perspective, which would be more in line with federalism. So instead of thinking about the big national grid, maybe look at electricity on a regional basis, then support the people in the region where the dam is located. Dams with an output of 600 or 800 MW are medium dams, not small, but something that is realist here, and I think if it is done well, there will be more investors.

Nationalism, federalism and ethnic-centered political framework in Myanmar: The Case for Local Autonomy and Ethnic State’s Governance

The 21st Panglong Peace Conference has been completed in Myanmar. The public expects genuine peace, unity, liberty and equity by the end of the conference. The four day assembly was also widely reported in the local, national and international press. Leaders, delegates and speakers have given their best shot at achieving peace, unity and prosperity but harmony within people across the nation must be observed. Clashes of principle, ideology, framework and proposal for a new formation of a ‘democratic federal union’ have appeared but the door is open for further debate and discussion.

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