Greetings everyone. Firstly, I’d like to extend my thanks to all the leaders and representatives as well as the NCA implementing partners New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union for your participation.
This meeting will focus on the planning of the 10 plus 10 top leaders meeting and we will listen to the reports from the preparation team which has had an informal meeting with the government.
Therefore, we will have to find common grounds based on their reports. Then we will set out activity plans on how to carry on based on these common grounds. We also have to try to reconcile the deep divisions among the fundamental political perspectives held by different stakeholders through the current informal meetings.
When tackling these deep divisions, we have to stand by the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. We also need to look at whether NCA is being observed by both sides. The points that the preparation team is going to report also need to be checked if they align with the NCA. NCA was achieved only after overcoming the wide differences and challenges between the two sides. Therefore, it is a guideline for the signatory organizations of the NCA and we cannot deviate from it.
Another thing I’d like to mention is that the KNU has a principle when cooperating with other ethnic races which is to work together on common issues and to work separately on issues with divided perspectives. Therefore, it is essential to have common positions and perspectives among our 10 organizations.
In addition, we need to find ways to allow the non-signatory organizations to be involved in the peace process for the sake of building the future union together in the best possible way. Only then can we achieve the all inclusive future federal democratic union that everyone aspires to.
Therefore, I’d like to encourage everyone to participate actively and openly. Please cooperate together for peace. Aim the discussion towards implementing the dialogue process that is geared towards national reconciliation and building a peaceful and equal society. Peace cannot be built out of hatred. Peace can only be built with tolerance, forgiveness and compassion for one another. Thank you all.
10 October, 2018, Chiangmai