- Title: Myanmar's military holds key in national peace
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: NAYPYITAW, MYANMAR (FILE - AUGUST 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PEOPLE SITTING INSIDE MEETING HALL AT MYANMAR'S FIRST PEACE TALKS MYANMAR'S STATE COUNCELLOR AUNG SAN SUU KYI AND MYANMAR PRESIDENT, HTIN KYAW, ARRIVING SUU KYI AND HTIN KYAW SITTING MEDIA SUU KYI SPEAKING AT THE PODIUM PEOPLE LISTENING
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 09:07
- Keywords: National Ceasefire Agreement Peace Brokers reform military Aung San Suu Kyi rebel ethinic group 21st Panglong Conference
- Location: YANGON, KACHIN, NAYPYITAW, MYANMAR / BANGKOK, THAILAND
- City: YANGON, KACHIN, NAYPYITAW, MYANMAR / BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Various
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0046HX6EKL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Myanmar's third nation-wide peace conference is due to start on Wednesday (May 24) but the mood is cautious over a positive outcome, which political watchers say, is mainly in the hands of the military.
The conference involves round table negotiations between the government, military, and various armed rebel groups but the agenda of discussions are still unclear. The conference will only be partially represented as Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya's were not invited.
The gathering which will be held amid sporadic clashes between the armed groups and the army has been dubbed the 21st Panglong Conference, after a historic meeting between Suu Kyi's father, General Aung San, and ethnic minorities in 1947 who signed an agreement that would grant their territories full autonomy within 10 years. This was never fulfilled and instead, the country plunged into decades of civil war.
An advisor to the 2017 peace conference, Aung The Nyein, said the government needs to hold more trilateral talks between each ethnic groups in order for the goal of peace to be achievable.
Lalita Hanwong, a Myanmar expert at Thailand's Kasetsart University, said that the National Ceasefire Agreement which the government hopes to sign with all of the ethnic armed groups will just be paperwork and that clashes with authorities would likely continue.
State Councellor Aung San Suu Kyi, has made the peace process a priority for her administration, and has pledged to try to achieve unanimous agreement at the conference, local media reports have said.
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