United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) issued a statement saying it believes that the 2008 Constitution is not adequate to resolve the conflicts among the national races in the country.

The statement was released at a dinner reception of the 66th anniversary of Union Day hosted in Yangon yesterday.

In it, leaders of national race parties said the constitution was required not only to be amended but also to be rewritten. Otherwise, internal peace could not be achieved, they added.

“The current constitution needs to be rewritten. As we could not accept that we walked out of the National Convention,” said Kun Htun Oo, chairman of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy.

The statement also said efforts would be exerted for the emergence of another 21st century’s Panglong conference with all-inclusiveness.

The historic Panglong Conference was held in February 1947 with the participation of Myanmar’s independence hero General Aung San and other ethnic leaders in Panglong in the Shan States.  On the agenda was the united struggle for independence from Britain and the future of Myanmar after independence as a unified republic.

The national race organisations have reportedly wanted opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to lead the holding of such a kind of conference while the SNLD is trying to arrange for a union level political dialogue.

As the time has come to achieve genuine peace, both the government and ethnic armed groups should take practical steps towards building eternal peace as well as making ceasefires so that open and transparent political dialogues can emerge, the statement said.

Military offensives in northern Kachin State sparked a grave concern and harmed the mutual trust. Political dialogues therefore can only avoid such problems, the statement added.

The UNA also stated that although General Aung San and ethnic leaders signed the Panglong agreement 66 years ago with the aim of creating a federal system, Myanmar, unfortunately is still functioning as a union.

The UNA is formed with political parties of ethnic minorities, which participated in 1990 general elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory but denied by the military regime.

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