Yangon, 23 August 2016
Arakan Patriotic Party (APP), the second largest Ethnic political Party of Rakhine State decided not to attend the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference starting on 31 August. The party announced on Sunday that they were not interested to join in the conference.
“We welcome the initiative for peace, stability and federalism, but for the time being we have decided not to join the conference. As some ethnic armed groups are not attending the peace conference, it should not be termed as an inclusive scheme. So we have decided to avoid it,” said APP chairman U Zaw Win Tun.
According to the government source, 21 ethnic armed outfits are operating in Myanmar, among them 18 are expected to join the peace conference. Three armed organizations namely Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Arakan Army (AA) and Ta’ang National Liberation army (TNLA) are not attending the conference.
The APP leaders were invited by National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) to attend a preliminary meeting of 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference on 23 August, but they did not respond in positive to the invitation.
It may be mentioned that 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference will begin on 31 August. The convener committee for the conference had discussions with the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee on the issue of participation by all ethnic armed organizations of the country.
Meanwhile, the Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) leader U Khu U Rae informed the media on Sunday that three armed groups are expected to be invited again by the government to the Union Peace Conference.