Every man is my superior in some way.
In that I learn from him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
It was an honor to attend, observe and advise the Annual meeting of the almost 4 year old Committee for Shan State Unity (CSSU), the association of 3 political parties, 2 armed resistance armies, and 6 CSOs, in Chiangmai.
As usual, I’m reporting what took place there, topics that were discussed, and decisions that were taken at the event. For I believe that the better the people are informed, the surer their decision-making will be.
But, as usual, I have to be careful of what I disclose, as carelessness may lead to killing the goose. If I say nothing, nothing will be known. But if I say everything, everything will be ruined.
I hope my policy: to disclose what is useful but not too sensitive, but to refrain from saying anything that’s too delicate works for all.
Day One. Thursday, 4 May 2017
Strangely enough, the NCA that forms the basis of the current peace process does not contain the terms “reconciliation” or “national reconciliation” anywhere in the text. However, it significantly refers to the Spirit of Panglong, which has come to be seen as the historic starting point of reconciliation in Myanmar.
Aung Naing Oo, Myanmar times, 27 April 2017
Khun Tun Oo gives is opening speech (Photo: Irrawaddy)
The outgoing chair Khun Tun Oo gives his opening speech in Burmese, for the sake of media representatives, who are present at the Ratanakosin Hotel’s meeting room on the 6th floor.
Recently, we’ve been hearing things we had never heard of before:
If we are not united and at peace with one another, there’s a chance the Irrawaddy could become the border between India and China.
I therefore solemnly urge you to seriously keep in mind what I have said in our 2 day deliberations on our struggle for equality and self-determination.
Here are excerpts from speeches delivered by other leaders:
(More than a million were estimated to have either been displaced or gone into exile since the 1996-98 forced relocation campaign waged by the then military government —Author)
Participants of the CSSU Annual. Photo taken on 4 May 2017.
Next, a progress report is submitted by the secretariat headed by Sai Nyunt Lwin, the outgoing Secretary General.
For those who are not familiar with the CSSU, I hope the following summary explains its nuts and bolts: The CSSU was formed on 17 October 2017. Its 12 guiding principles were adopted at the summit meeting in Bangkok in October 2014. According to its constitution adopted in 2015, all chairpersons of each member organizations form a presidium, and take turns to preside over meetings for one year. Secretaries of each member organization meanwhile form a secretariat which is headed by the Secretary General, who is also the general secretary of the member organization whose chairperson is serving as president on rotation. All major decisions are made by consensus.
The following are the extracts from the report:
Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD),
Shan State Progress Party (SSPP),
and Shan People’s Militia
During the 2016-17 period, the CSSU gained two more members: Eastern Shan State Development and Democratic Party (ESSDDP) and Tai Youth Network (TYN)
The rest of the day is spent in self-evaluation. The following are extracts from the discussants:
And several more.
The day ends with an agreement for the leaders to hold a separate meeting in the evening, the results of which are to be reported on the next day.
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2016 Shan Herald Agency for News