By NANG MYA NADI / DVB
16 March 2015
Burma’s President Thein Sein met with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in Naypyidaw on Monday.
At the morning-time meeting at the president’s ranch, a three-point message was conveyed by the KIO, led by Maj-Gen Gun Maw, according to Hla Maung Shwe of the Myanmar Peace Centre.
“There are three key points in the KIO’s message. First, the delegation is visiting Naypyidaw with a mandate in accordance with the KIO central committee’s decision; second, the central committee has decided on principal to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and to negotiate its terms and conditions; and third, the delegation would like to pass a proposal signed by the KIO chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra on behalf of the central committee,” said Hla Maung Shwe.
While in Naypyidaw, the KIO also met with Burma’s vice-president Sai Mauk Kham and several union ministers, including: Soe Thane and Aung Min of the President’s Office; Immigration Minister Khin Yi; Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister Ohn Myint; and Gen. Thet Naing Win of the Bureau of Special Operations of the Ministry of Defence.
The KIO delegation included: Maj-Gen Gun Maw; Dr Laja Sumlut Gam; the leader of the KIO peace negotiation team, Col. Zaw Taung; Maj. Laphai La; and peace mediators Lamai Gumja, Yuazakhong and Sant Aung.
Sant Aung said the delegation is scheduled to meet with Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Monday afternoon, and they are tipped to discuss an incident which occurred last November, in which 23 cadets were killed when a KIO training camp in Kachin State was shelled by the Burmese army.
Representatives from the Ta-ang National Liberation Army, who are reportedly fighting alongside the Kokang rebels and Kachin Independence Army against the Burmese army in the Kokang Special Region, had previously planned to join the 16 March meeting but later reversed the plan, apparently due to security concerns.