Learning to share: Back to Panglong

  • Written by Sai Khuensai/S.H.A.N
  • Published in Analysis

Day Two. Wednesday, 8 June 2016

History happens twice

Because people don’t listen at the first time.

Russian History Quotes, quateaddicts.com

The first part of the day is spent in reviewing the Panglong Handbook that was drafted yesterday.

The draft contains the following headings:

  • Foreword
  • How it came into being
  • The Panglong Spirit
  • The Panglong Promises
  • The Panglong Agreement
  • Statements by Aung San, and others
  • Afterword

“Whether or not one participates in the upcoming 21st Century Panglong, the message must be the same,” says a participant.

Another speaks of the need for the voice of the public.

The draft is provisionally approved at noon just before lunch, pending input and endorsement by CNF.

The next step is to present it to the planned Pre 21 CPC. The procedure is not unusual historically speaking. On 6-7 February 1947, the Chin, Kachin and Shan leaders met and reached agreement on what to present to Aung San, the head of the Executive Council of Burma Government, who arrived at Panglong on the next day.

The KIO reiterates the desire to meet the State Counselor to clear up some crucial questions before planning ahead. “We keep hearing conflicting answers,” says one. “The confusion has been compounded by a statement from a leading member of the 21st Century Panglong Conference Preparatory Committee (21 CPCPC) delegation saying, ‘If you’re coming (to Naypyitaw), don’t expect to go back. Conversely, if you’re expecting to go back, please don’t come.’ We still are unable to decide whether he was serious about it or was just trying to be funny.” (I inquired, and the 21 CPCPC secretary U Hla Maung Shwe replied laughingly he hoped the ethnic leaders didn’t take it seriously, as the statement was made not at the meeting, but during the dinner party which was held later in the evening.)

The day ends with a stirring speech from N’Banla. Here are the excerpts:

  • This meeting held to revisit Panglong has been really satisfactory.
  • There would never have been a Union of Burma/Myanmar without Panglong.

The word Panglong therefore carries a truly profound meaning

  • Chin, Kachin and Shan, being the original signatories of the Agreement, must take primary responsibility
  • Panglong has been the central pillar to the Union. But successive governments have only chosen to dishonor it. If you are looking for the perpetrators of the Three Sacred Causes (Non-disintegration of the Union, Non-disintegration of National Solidarity and Perpetuation of National Sovereignty), there is no need to look far. These people should be tried in court.

It isn’t a surprise he gets a roaring applause from his audience.

So what’s next? Whatever it is, you bet I’m going to report to you.