Mae Sot: The Arakan Liberation Party and the Burmese regime will start regional level peace talks on 4 April in Sittwe, the capital of western Burma’s Arakan State, according to a senior member of the ALP.
U Khine Soe Naing Aung, Vice-President of the ALP, told Narinjara that he would lead his party’s delegation while U Aung Thaung, leader of the union-level peacemaking group, and U Hla Maung Tin, Chief Minister of Arakan State, would lead the regime’s delegation for their peace talks.
“There are two levels of peace talks – the state level and the union level – and we have now planned to hold the state-level peace talks for the first time,” said U Khine Soe Naing Aung.
“We will discuss in our forthcoming state-level peace talks with the government on the agendas that are: Ceasefire; Delimitation of areas for the ALP’s forces and government’s forces on the frontline; Withdrawal of the government’s forces from the ALP areas; Opening offices for communication between the ALP and the government; Travel permits for ALP’s soldiers to travel across the nation while unarmed; and official declaration of a nationwide ceasefire by the government,” he added.
The ALP, however, said in a statement issued on 10 March after its second annual meeting of the central committee, that the ceasefire being sought by the U Thein Sein-led regime is only a temporary ceasefire that will not be stable for the long term.
When asked why the ALP accepted the peace negotiations despite a lack of faith in the U Thein Sein-led regime, U Khine Soe Naing Aung said, “We have to accept the peace negotiations with them according to the current political tactics, and if we would refuse to accept those talks we would be seen by our people and international community as having no desire for peace in our country.”
It was also learned that the ALP has already selected 21 member from its bases on the borders of Thailand, India, and Bangladesh to serve in the delegation for peace talks in Sittwe.