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Shan delegates call for an end to conflict

Organizers at the Shan Conference in Rangoon announced on Wednesday that the ongoing peace process will bring an end to the conflict that has plagued the region for so long.

Officially called the “Trust-building for Peace Conference,” the three-day meeting involved some 170 Shan representatives from across the country and was held on November 26-28 at the Royal Rose Restaurant in the former capital’s Bahan Township.

The 170 delegates represented interests as diverse as: three Shan political parties; four Shan armies; 11 domestic or foreign-based Shan organizations; community leaders from 42 townships; and 17 experts, academics or special guests.

According to an official statement at the conclusion of the conference: “To settle the conflicts, we must seriously cooperate as opposed to participate. We therefore encourage each other to implement the issues of the ongoing peace process in each sector.”

“Trust-building is the most important thing in achieving peace in the country,” said Hkun Htun Oo, the chairman of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy.

“At this time, ethnic issues are the major dilemma that Burma faces,” he continued. “To solve these issues, this country needs to establish a true federal union. Peace is essential while building a true union. And without equality, there will be no peace.”

Retired English Literature Professor Shelly Nan Hwan Late said, “Trust-building can’t be bought with money, and it can’t be disguised either. Only the kind of trust that comes from the heart can be prolonged and strong.”

Twenty-three separate issues and proposals were discussed over the three days, including the peace process, Shan political issues, economy, social issues, literature, natural resources, and environmental issues.

Speakers on the opening day of the conference included: Hkun Htun Oo; Sao Hso Ten from the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP); and representatives from the Shan National Democratic Party, and from the Restoration Council of Shan State.

Representing the Burmese government at the first day of the conference were: Union Peace Foundation Committee Vice Chairman Aung Min; President’s Office Minister Soe Thein; and Minister Khin Maung Soe from the Ministry of Electricity.

Hkun Htun Oo said that he was satisfied with outcome of the conference.

“The kind of situation which brings together Shan organizations from all over Shan State means that we can carry out the peace process in a gradual manner,” he told Mizzima.

“In the past, we couldn’t talk freely like this,” he said. “These barriers do not exist any longer.”

Following the conference in Rangoon, another event is due to be held in the near future in Shan State, involving all the ethnic groups of the region.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 November 2012 18:11 )  

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