MEMBERS o the Kachin communi-ty have asked Vijay Nambiar to helpincrease international involvementin Myanmar’s peace process duringa meeting in Myitkyina last week.Kachin representatives met MrNambiar, the special adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon onMyanmar, on May 29, during therest day in peace talks between thegovernment and the Kachin Inde-pendence Organisation (KIO). MrNambiar was an observer at thetalks, which concluded with thesigning o a seven-point agreementon May 30. At the meeting Myitkyina resi-dent Daw Jar Sai Khum said inter-national help was needed to resolvethe conict in Kachin State.“I think you can understand very well that this conict has been run-ning since the country became in-dependent more than 64 years ago,”she said. “Ethnic groups around My-anmar are trying to solve the prob-lems within our communities andregions but we cannot manage all o this ourselves.“It is clear to me that the inter-national community needs to play a role in solving these conicts.”Kachin people urged Mr Nambiarto monitor the conict until a airsolution was ound. They also askedhim to raise the issue o Myanmar’sethnic conicts in the UN Security Council and encourage other mem- bers o the international community to take part in the peace process.Representatives also told MrNambiar that the KIO and Kachincommunities “are one”.‘’We want the UN to help asmuch as it can,” said 81-year-old Daw Innan Jar Yar. “The governmentand KIO have held peace talks many times but so ar there has not beenany positive outcome.“We suer the terrible impacts o the conict,” she said, adding that a political solution was needed. “We want to get [a] ederal [system] atonce. We don’t want to wait any more to get it.”The Kachin National Consulta-tive Assembly (KNCA) published a statement beore Mr Nambiar’s visitand this was presented to him at themeeting. The statement includednine points on the conict and al-leged that the government “consist-ently ignores the ethnic rights thatethnic nationalities have been de-manding, or intentionally stalls andgives excuses”.The statement said that pastmeetings have not been successul inpart because international monitor-ing groups have not been involvedand called or these groups to be in- volved in uture talks.Mr Nambiar said at the meetingthat the UN is supporting and a-cilitating peace talks and that thosetalks were being watched closely around the world.“Every one o you has an aspira-tion, an expectation … and an ex-perience. But any political solutionthat comes will not satisy everybody in all respects,” Mr Nambiar said.“I have no doubt that the UN andKIO, as well as the Kachin peopleand Myanmar people, will see thepeace process move orward,” hesaid.
Kachin community leaders backinvolvement o UN adviser Nambiar
EI EI TOE LWIN
Vijay Nambiar, a special adviser onMyanmar to UN Secretary-General BanKi-moon, speaks during a meeting withmembers of the Kachin community inMyitkyina on May 29.
THE government and the Kachin Inde-pendence Organisation have commit-ted to scaling back ghting in north-ern Myanmar, in what appears to bea breakthrough in the two-year-oldconict.The seven-point agreement wassigned on May 30, at the end o threedays o talks in the Kachin State capi-tal, Myitkyina. Leaders rom both sidessaid they were satised with the pro-gress made and promised to honourthe contents o the agreement.Minister or the President’s Ofce U Aung Min led the government delega-tion, while General Sumlut Gun Maw,deputy chie o the Kachin Independ-ence Army, led the Kachin team at thetalks, which also included observersrom China, the United Nations andthe United Nationalities Federal Coun-cil (UNFC).“Even though we didn’t sign a cease-re agreement we have got a successulresult,” said Lieutenant General MyintSoe, who was representing Command-er-in-Chie Senior General Min AungHlaing at the talks.“The Tatmadaw has never brokenpromises we gave. We stand by ourcommitments rmly but there aresometimes problems on the ground.That’s why at the talks we have madea commitment to try to decrease ght-ing between both sides. We want to say again that we must maintain our com-mitments,” Lt Gen Myint Soe said.Gen Sumlut Gun Maw said theKachin wanted to quickly progress tomore substantial dialogue.“We will continue to take action de-pending on the outcome o this agree-ment. But it doesn’t mean that we mustkeep this agreement or a long time – we must move orward to get genuinepeace through this agreement,” he told
The Myanmar Times
.U Aung Min said he believed a cease-re is not ar away and the two sides would be able to keep in close contact atall times through a technical team that will be ormed under the agreement.“We have agreed to establish a tech-nical team in order to eectively under-take measures necessary or the peaceprocess,” U Aung Min said.The agreement comes as the war innorthern Myanmar is about to enter itsthird year, and ater several rounds o talks that yielded seemingly no result.Under the seven-point agreement, both sides have committed to holdingpolitical dialogue, to “undertake e-orts to achieve de-escalation and ces-sation o hostilities” and to continuediscussions on “military issues relatedto repositioning o troops”. They willalso orm joint monitoring committeesand a technical team, while the KIO will appoint a representative in Myit-kyina. They agreed to consult over theresettlement o people displaced by theconict.On the issue o international ob-servers, both the government and KIOagreed to continue to allow the partici-pation o all groups that attended last week’s talks. “I either wishes to in- vited additional observers, the partiesalso agreed to invite these additionalobservers in consultation with eachother,” he said. Vijay Nambiar, the special adviseron Myanmar to UN Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon, represented the UN atthe talks, while Lu Zhi, deputy chie o mission at the Chinese embassy in Yangon, also attended. Representativerom eight ethnic armed groups and10 Kachin community leaders also took part as observers.In an eort to ensure transparency,most o the talks took place in ront o the observers. However, on some sensi-tive military issues, the two delegationsretreated behind closed doors.“We want to say to everyone thatthere will be better conditions soon. While we have aced many difcultiesover the past two years, we’re movingin the right direction,” said Lt-GeneralMyint Soe.“I have nothing else to say. I support[what the] Lieutenant General said,”Gen Sumlut Gun Maw said.The agreement was widely praisedin the international community, withUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moondescribing it as a “signicant achieve-ment that could lay the basis or a gen-uine process o national reconciliationin the country”.Mr Ban said in a statement thathe “commends the leaders o bothdelegations or their courage andperseverance”.The United States embassy in Yangon said it was “encouraged” by the agreement and looks “orward tocontinued progress in building trustand delivering lasting peace”.“[W]e support dialogue as the bestand only way to address the root causeso longstanding conict,” it said.
KIO and govtagree to scaleback fghting
‘While we have acedmany difculties over the past two years, we’re moving in theright direction.’
Lieutenant General Myint Soe
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’srepresentative at the Myitkyina talks
YANGON – Vodaone and China Mobile said last week they weredropping out o the race to enterMyanmar, one o the world’s lastunexplored mobile telephone ron-tiers.They were one o 12 oreign con-sortiums short-listed by the tenderselection committee to bid or twolicences to build, own and operatea nationwide network or an initialterm o 15 years.The two companies said in a statement on May 31 that they haddecided to pull out because “theopportunity does not meet thestrict internal investment criteria to which both Vodaone and China Mobile adhere”.“Vodaone and China Mobile willcontinue to watch Myanmar’s pro-gress with interest and will give dueconsideration to any uture oppor-tunities that would meet the com-panies’ investment criteria,” they added.British-based Vodaone thismonth reported a 90-percentplunge in annual net prot atertaking a vast impairment chargerelating to poor business in debt-laden eurozone nations Italy andSpain.One bidder has estimated the re-quired spending to develop a Myan-mar network at about US$2 billion. Applicants also ace a list o re-quirements, including to providemobile voice services to 75pc o thecountry geographically within 60months.Less than 10pc o Myanmar’spopulation has access to a tel-ephone – a gure the governmenthopes to boost to more than 50pc by 2016.Other companies on the short-list include Orange, KDDI, SingTeland a consortium backed by an in- vestment und linked to billionaireGeorge Soros. A decision on the winning bid-ders is expected on June 27. –
See related coverage pages 8-9
Vodaone and China Mobileexit mobile licence auction