Myitmakha News Agency
Yangon, August 26 – all seven ethnic armed groups from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition working for the establishment of a federal state, will attend the landmark 21st Century Panglong Conference in Naypyidaw, stated General Sai Htoo, deputy commander of the UNFC’s Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN).
“There will be all seven ethnic groups from the UNFC present [at the Panglong Peace Conference]. As far as we now, the others – the Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) – are still holding talks with the government over their presence at the conference,” said the deputy commander.
It was announced on August 25 that all groups of the UNFC would attend the Panglong Conference, in the wake of a political discussion forum that was held in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand between August 24-25.
The seven groups of the UNFC to attend the Panglong Conference are the Kachin Liberation Organization (KIO), New Mon State Party (NMSP), Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army – North (SSPP/SSA-N), Kayin National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Arakan National Council (ANC), and the Wa National Organization (WNO).
“Talks with the government are currently being held over the attendance of the KIA and Kayah ethnic armed groups to the Panglong Conference. The AA, MNDAA and TNLA will not be in attendance,” U Zaw Htway, director of the President’s Office, told Myitmakha News Agency.
Talks were held at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) on August 20 with the UNFC’s DPN led by Dr Tin Myo Win. During meetings held over August 21-22 on reanalysis of a political framework for discussion, talks were reportedly held on the presentation by the 21st Century Panglong Conference Organization Joint Committee of a report on the results from their first meeting.