Suu Kyi Rejects National-level Political Dialogue in Arakan State

SAM Staff,
The first 21st Century Panglong Conference. / The Irrawaddy

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has again rejected the Arakan Liberation Party’s (ALP) request to hold an ethnic-based national-level political dialogue in Arakan State, saying it is a sensitive region.

Daw Saw Mra Razar Lin, member of the ALP central executive committee, told The Irrawaddy that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is disregarding their request.

“When we say we are ready [for political dialogue], it falls on deaf ears. What Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has said is not acceptable to Arakanese people,” said Daw Saw Mra Razar Lin.

The national-level political dialogue is a mandatory step of the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), where regional stakeholders discuss suggestions at large-scale public consultations, the results of which are shared by representatives at the Union Peace Conference or 21st Century Panglong.

In February, the ALP—which is one of eight NCA signatories—proposed holding ethnic-based national-level political dialogue in Arakan State, but Burma’s de facto leader turned down the request, saying the ALP was not yet ready.

The ALP has made necessary preparations and has submitted letters three times to request approval to hold the dialogue. But the government has not replied, and at the Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting (JICM) on Monday in Naypyidaw, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi again declined the request, citing sensitive issues involving the Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State.

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The national-level political dialogue in Arakan State is to be supervised by the Arakan State government, ALP and ANP, and although the two parties have selected members to organize the dialogues and informed the state government, it has not replied, said U Khaing Pyay Soe.

Of eight ethnic armed groups that have signed the NCA with the previous government, six have already held national-level political dialogues in their respective regions.

SOURCE Irrawaddy