The third annual meeting of the Committee of Shan State Unity (CSSU) ended abruptly yesterday after only the first day of a planned three day conference.
The meeting was halted following the intervention of local government officials in Yangon.
Sai Leik, a spokesperson for the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), explained that officials wanted to sit in and monitor the proceedings.
“They asked us to let them in to the meeting room to listen to the proceedings,” he said. “We told them that we would report to them after the meeting. They then told us if we did not have permission from local authorities, we would have to stop.”
Sai Leik, who was also an organizer for the meeting, said he went to the Yangon western district office lateThursday afternoon to request permission for the meeting. However, the officer requested that they get a recommendation letter from the police and village tract office. As it was too late in the day to do this they were unable to proceed.
Sai Leik then asked the chief of the office to sign a letter either ordering the meeting to end or allowing the meeting to continue, but he refused to do either.
“Because we did not have the permission paper, the hotel refused to host our meeting,” he added.
Puen Kham, the Secretary of the CSSU, said that the annual meeting was being held to discuss some key issues including collaboration and unity within Shan State’s nationalities and future cooperation with the incoming government.
The annual meeting was attended by a number of high profile Shan leaders who are involved in the national peace process including Lt. Gen. Yawd Serk, the chairman of the RCSS/SSA. Khun Tun Oo, the chairman of the SNLD also attended the meeting as did Hso Ten, the leader of the SSPP/SSA and Khuensai, managing director of the Pyidaungsu Institute for Peace and Dialogue.
“We will have to wait and see how far this country will have to go to reach democracy,” Sai Leik said. “There are so many challenges we will be facing.”
The committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU) was formed in October 2013. It comprises Shan armed groups, political parties and civil society organizations.
BY SAI AW / Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
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