Several Shan groups including political parties, civil society organizations and academics, will hold a meeting in late January in order to prepare for the 2nd round of national dialogue which is slated to be held in February.
The first round of the 21st-Century Panglong Peace Conference, known as the 21CPC, was led by Burma’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and was held on August 31 last year in the capital Naypyidaw.
Sai Lek, the spokesperson for the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), said this conference concerns every Shan nationality, and therefore their voices are needed.
“What the ethnic armed organizations (EAO) and political parties can do is raise the issues linked to ethnicity,” he said. “The issues we will be discussing include politics, economics, social welfare, and land and national resources. We have already discussed security issues.”
The meeting is scheduled to take place in Shan State capital Taunggyi from 23 to 27 January.
SNLD spokesperson Sai Lek, who also currently serves as general secretary for the Committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU), a group comprising Shan political parties, Shan armed groups and Shan civil society groups, said that in order to hold the conference in late January they will need to form at least 13 working groups in order to engage public consultations.
“There will be 13 groups. Each group will consist of 15 members which include a team leader and a financial manager,” he said, adding that each group will be expected to take a field trip to gauge public opinions. These public consultations will be held both inside and outside Shan State.”
He elaborated in detailing these areas of public consultation: two townships in eastern Shan State; three townships in northern Shan State; and four townships in southern Shan State. Outside the region, talks will take place, he said, in Mandalay, Moe Nyin in Kachin State, Homalin in Sagiang Division, Loi Kaw in Karenni State, and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
On 11-12 December last year, Shan leaders held a meeting in Taunggyi to begin drawing up plans for the 21CPC.
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2016 Shan Herald Agency for News