Johnny Magdaleno, July 31, 2013
On Wednesday, representatives of the Paulang State Liberation Front (PSLF) denied a ceasefire agreement proposed by the Myanmar government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) but agreed to continue bilateral peace dialogues, according to PSLF spokesperson Mai Aung Naing.
The meeting marked the second time both parties had met since talks began in November 2012.
The UPWC’s ceasefire proposal asked a commitment on both ends to halt military movement, full disarmament in designated non-military zones, the creation of disarmed meeting points near conflict areas, and the scheduling and formation of delegations for future peace talks.
Key points addressed by the PSLF during the meeting included local development in northern Shan state, political power of the PSLF, drug trafficking regulations, and the current status of armed conflict between both parties.
Although the groups acceded on certain points, both agreed further negotiations were necessary before the peace process could begin.
The meeting lasted from 09:00 until 15:00 ICT, with an audience of over 60 people. In addition to members of the PSLF and the UPWC, witnesses included active members of other ethnic political groups, including the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP).