The “Red Shan” of northern Burma announced the formation of their armed group, the Shanni Nationalities Army (SNA), on social media last week, amidst calls for their own state in parliament. Full article here
RANGOON — The chief of the Burma Army has promised greater transparency throughout the peace process, telling the country’s press council that it will serve as an important liaison between the military and the national media. Full article here
Officials involved in the ongoing peace process have stressed the need for ethnic armed groups that did not sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) to participate in efforts to restore internal peace, thereby strengthening the effort to reach a political solution. Full article here
The Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) released a statement on January 17 saying it will work with the government, army, political parties and other organisations to achieve ‘genuine’ domestic peace and to establish a democratic, federal Union. Full article here
RANGOON — The Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) agreed to withdraw troops north of a key highway on Tuesday after two days of talks with government negotiators aimed at addressing conflict which broke out in central Shan State on Oct. 6, leaving thousands of civilians displaced. Full article here
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with the country’s chief peace negotiator Aung Min to discuss reconciliation with armed ethnic groups as her National League for Democracy (NLD) prepares to form a new government after sweeping general elections last month, a party official said Wednesday. Full article here
The peoples of Myanmar have long desired a platform for inclusive peace and dialogue where the vital issues of politics, economics, welfare and human rights for all can be discussed together, fully and in a spirit of national reconcilitation and cooperation. Thus any initiative towards peace and dialogue is always welcome. Full article here
For English readers, here is an unofficial translation of the recently agreed Framework for Political Dialogue, negotiated as a follow-up to the signing on 15th October 2015 of the National Ceasefire Agreement. Published on 22 December 2015
EPRP Opinion about the recent Peace conference.
The Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) provides information and training to support ethnic organisations and communities to participate in Myanmar's peace process.
This website provides a database of Peace Resources covering Myanmar-specific topics as well as more general information about international practice regarding peace processes and international norms and international law:
Ethnic Issues and Peace in Myanmar reflects the situation of ethnic people in Myanmar, as individual and as communities within the Union of Myanmar.
Peace Processes includes more general information from international sources related to peace processes (such as human rights norms, ceasefires, mediation and negotiation).
The Gender and Peace section provides resources to raise awareness and support gender equity in the ceasefire and peace process.
Representatives from the government, Parliament, army, ethnic armed groups and political parties discussed politics, economics, social, security, land and environmental issues.
Vice chairmen of the conference, minister Aung Min, Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, representing the armed groups, and Tu Wai for the political parties handed concluding documents to Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Khan.
Ref: Eleven Published: 20th January 2016
The Union Peace Conference, as it is formally known, builds on the nationwide ceasefire agreement signed last October and in effect will attempt to lay out a roadmap for negotiations on a reshaping of the country’s federal system.
U Thein Sein had intended the peace process as one of the main legacies of his five-year term. In reality the October 15 pact was neither nationwide nor even a ceasefire as the eight ethnic armed groups that did agree to sign had mostly long laid down their guns under bilateral ceasefire arrangements and were already in the process of being drawn into Myanmar’s economic and political mainstream.
Ref: The Myanmar Time Published: 11th January 2016
The second stage in Burma’s seven-step peace process is facing four issues which will be discussed and decided next week, according to sources within the Union Peace and Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) in Rangoon.
These issues are, as follows:
- The composition and criteria for participation in the dialogue
The decision-making formula
Amendments to the framework
Whether to have a joint working team or separate working teams
Ref: BNI News Published: 9th Dec 2015
The largest break-away ethnic armies did not take part in the accord, which was signed by President Thein Sein in October.The key rebel armies – the Kachin Independence Army, Shan State Army and United Wa State Army – failed to sign the agreement. A key issue for the holdout factions was demands for autonomy in the resource-rich areas of northern and eastern Myanmar.
Ref: Mizzima Published: 10th Dec 2015
“I cannot say whether Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will attend the meetings or not but I can say that the NLD chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will take part in the political dialogue,” said U Nyan Win, a patron of the party. On October 15 the government signed a National Ceasefire Agreement with eight of Myanmar’s myriad ethnic armed groups, a culmination of more than two years of efforts to resolve the country’s decades- old insurgencies.
Ref: Frontier Published:16th Dec 2015
RANGOON — More than a dozen lawmakers used Monday’s proceedings at the Union Parliament to discuss whether to sign off on the government’s “nationwide” ceasefire agreement (NCA), with many speakers saying they were reluctant to proceed with the accord until more ethnic armed groups participated.
Three more lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the ceasefire deal, which was signed by the government and eight non-state armed groups in Naypyidaw on Oct. 15. Should the parliament approve the bill, the government will have license to continue discussions with those groups under the terms of political dialogue set out in the agreement.
Ref: The Irrawaddy Published: 7th Dec 2015
However, the talks to make decisions about democratisation and the establishment of a federation would be held under the next government.
The ceasefire, signed between the government and eight ethnic groups on October 15, says the first set of political talks must be held within 60 days and the second within 90.
Ref: Eleven Published: 15 Nov 2015
A nine-member team began the task of drawing up the details of a political dialogue framework at the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) in Yangon yesterday, according to a report in the Global New Light of Myanmar on 2 December.
The government has selected Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing, a director at Myanmar Peace Centre, as its representative to the team, while political parties named U Naing Ngan Lin who is currently Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) representative from the National League for Democracy party.
Ref: Mizzima Published: 2th Dec 2015
Nay Pyi Taw: Myanmar was drafting a framework for political dialogue between the government and ethnic armed groups under 10 points at the Myanmar Peace Centre here, an official report said on Sunday.
The 10 points were being discussed at a four-day meeting of a special dialogue framework drafting committee of the tripartite Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) which began on Friday, Xinhua reported.
Ref: Siasat Daily Published: 30 Nov 2015
Ethnic ceasefire signatories hope to see the upcoming political dialogue include non-signatory groups, according to an ethnic armed organisation representative of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), the Global New Light of Myanmar reported on 26 November.
As a compromise, the government and ethnic organisations reached a tentative agreement to invite non-signatories of the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to meetings during the framework-drafting process as well as political dialogue, granting them the status of special invitees, said UPDJC ethnic minority representative Khun Myint Tun, chairman of the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation.
Ref: Mizzima Published: 26th Nov 2015
For much of the first 20 years of her life, Maran Ja Seng Hkawn was raised by her grandmothers in Kachin, Myanmar’s northernmost state, without her parents or siblings by her side and under the scrutiny of military intelligence. Full article here
There has long been a need for a deeper understanding of the intersections of gender, ethnicity and other identities in peace-building and democratisation. Progress on the rights of women and the participation by women’s organisations in conflict resolution and national reform are vital if sustainable peace and democracy are to be built within the country.
Myanmar has suffered from decades of civil war and military rule. Addressing the structural roots of violence, including gendered inequality, are crucial in order to build a sustainable peace. It is essential to analyse conflict, violence and human insecurity within a social context that is shaped by gender inequality. Women are involved in and affected by civil war as victims, survivors and agents of conflict and peace in specific ways which are often different from the experiences of men.
Ref:TNI Published: 13 January 2016
Despite the spread of the internet into the lives of ordinary people in Myanmar, and an influx of foreign organisations, there is still a range of taboo topics and bizarre misconceptions.
Ref: ABC Published: 9th Dec 2015
A: It is unbalanced. Even so we invited women in the Arakan State (to join the party). Anyone could contest the election in our party, but only five or six female candidates were selected. Out this only two female candidates won seats. Women need to get more involved in politics and run in the election.
Ref: BNI News Published: 29th Nov 2015
Female candidates in Kachin State contested the recent election but few of them won seats. In total, 67 ran but only 8 were successful. Half were from the National League for Democracy (NLD), according to voting results released by the Union Election Commission (UEC). Full article here
To discuss an initiative resulting from a previously signed MOU, the Head of the Gender Election Observation Mission (GEOM), Ms. Sabra Bano, met with U Tin Aye, Chairman of the Union Election Commission of Myanmar (UEC) at its headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw, a statement from the mission said on 7 November.
The meeting, attended by UEC commissioners and GEOM members, was the only UEC meeting with an international observation team that focused solely on the role of gender in the election of 8 November.
Ref: BNI Published 8th Nov 2015
RANGOON — Few are facing a more exhausting campaign bout than those seeking election as Burma’s ethnic affairs ministers. The coveted posts, which represent large populations of ethnic groups that are minorities in their state or region of residence, by nature require candidates to canvass nearly every constituency as they will stand for people from more than just one or a few townships.
Despite the enormous responsibility of the post and the trying conditions of campaigning across such broad geographic scopes, a number of women are going all in for a chance at the prestigious post, bringing with them an agenda of workers’ rights, education and healthcare reform.
Ref: The Irrawaddy Published: 5 Nov 2015
She has worked in the Ministry of Cooperatives and as a lawyer. Way back in 1977, the now 61-year-old candidate joined the Burma Socialist Programme Party of former strong man Ne Win. The BSPP was replaced by the NUP ahead of the 1990 elections, in which the NUP suffered a crushing defeat by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. The election result was ignored by the army.
Ref: The Myanmar Times Published: 31 Oct 2015
A young woman brought to trial in Irrawaddy Division after sharing a satirical post online deemed insulting to the military faces an additional defamation charge, the woman’s mother told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.
Chaw Sandi Tun appeared in Maubin Township Court on Tuesday where she was notified of an additional charge being brought against her under Article 500 of the Penal Code, a defamation clause, in addition to an existing charge under Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law.
Ref: The Irrawaddy Published: 29th Oct 2015
From a lavish sofa in her sitting room, one of Myanmar’s most successful women entrepreneurs discusses her reasons for running in the election, and her political and economic vision.
Daw Thet Thet Khine is joint secretary general of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and vice president of Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs’ Association.
Ref: The Myanmar Times Published: 11 Oct 2015
EPRP database of resources related to the peace process in Myanmar, peace processes in general and including specific topics and resources focussing on gender issues in peace processes.