September 26, 2012
Burma: Joint-Delegation in U.S. to Address Political Stalemate
(New York, New York) – A joint-delegation of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) has arrived in the U.S. to address the current political stalemate in the peace processes in Burma.
The delegation, comprising a unified collection of ethnic leaders, is headed by David Tharckabaw, Chairman of the NCUB and one of the UNFC’s Vice-Chairman. Other members of the delegation include: Khun Okker, Joint General Secretary of, and spokesperson for, the UNFC; UNFC Member of Foreign Affairs, Sao Swy Mangrai; UNFC Member of Military Affairs, La Awng; and Moe Chan, U.S. Representative for the NCUB.
During their visit to the U.S., the delegation is to meet with Burma’s ethnic communities and UN officials, among others, to support sustainable peace for Burma’s ethnic nationalities. The delegation has met with a number of U.S. officials to discuss the peace processes in Burma, these meetings being of high importance to the delegation.
David Tharckabaw, the delegation’s leader, said that “Until and unless the Burmese military actually ceases its attacks against the ethnics, ‘stability’ and ‘reconciliation’ in Burma will not be possible. As for ethnics, we are ready for more dialogue with all the stakeholders of Burma. We believe that having international community involvement will help pave the way to national reconciliation.” To this, Khun Okker of the UNFC added that a unified political and democratic dialogue is a must following the signing of a series of individual ceasefire agreements between ethnic resistance groups and the Burmese government.
In the midst of Burmese military offensives and widespread human rights abuses in the Kachin and Shan states, the joint-delegation is advocating the ethnics’ benchmarks. Recently, both the UNFC and the NCUB have called for Burma’s political situations to be resolved before 2015 in their “Benchmarks for Renewed Engagement with Burma”. The ethnics seek genuine dialogue for reconciliation and a political solution, but without the engagement and support of both the Government and the National Defense Security Council, they do not believe that durable peace will be possible.
“We would of course like to resolve Burma’s political issues within a time frame because we have all suffered enough decades of civil war. However, we are also prepared and will continue to defend our people until peace, national reconciliation, and federalism are achieved in Burma” continued David Tharckabaw.
Contact: Khun Okker – +66857155105
Moe Chan – +1-646-643-8689
Note: The UNFC is the largest coalition of ethnic nationality organizations from Burma. The NCUB is the largest coalition of pro democracy organizations operating in exile and liberated areas.