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Don’t rush into ceasefire, Suu Kyi warns ethnic leaders

File photo of Burma's leader Aung San Suu Kyi (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)

Ethnic armed organisations should not quickly sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement before the 8 November general elections, central executive committee member Win Htein quoted Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), as saying in her meeting with the Karen National Union (KNU).

Aung San Suu Kyi met with Maj. Htoo Htoo Lay from the KNU and Harn Yawnghwe [Euro Burma office] at her home on University Avenue Road in Rangoon at 1:30pm on 22 August, discussing the [ethnic alliance’s] plan to sign a ceasefire and hold political dialogue with the Burmese army.

“Peace is mentioned in line with the law. Some ethnic armed organisations are announced as unlawful by the government. It is questionable whether the negotiations between the ethnics and the government peace delegation are lawful or unlawful,” Win Htein quoted Suu Kyi saying to the KNU.

“She likes the NCA,” he continued. “Armed conflicts have occurred since we have not regained our independence. The best answer is political dialogue. We have to take our time. The ethnics will have to consider not to quickly signing the NCA. Signing the NCA must be meaningful. Everyone will have to follow it. Some will sign the agreement, but some won’t. In this state, it is not easy for our political party to understand it.”

KNU General Secretary Pado Saw Kwel Htoo Win said, “The NLD is focused on its attitude towards political dialogue and framework in advance as it expects a new government to win in the elections.”

The government has agreed to demands from the ethnic armed groups that 10 witnesses, including the National League for Democracy’s chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi, sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement.