Saturday, September 3, 2011

Myanmar’s Parliament Approves Peace Committee To Mediate With Ethnic Groups

Myanmar's parliament on 1 September approved the formation of a "peace committee" to mediate with the ethnic groups which are engaged in armed conflict against government forces, according to Arakan MP Aye Maung.
He said the committee has been named the "Committee for Forever Stability and Peace in the Union of Myanmar."
Conflicts and Building Peace
Aye Maung, who is the chairman of the Rakhine National Development Party, said on 1 September that the plan to form such a committee was approved by the Upper House at a parliamentary meeting in Naypyidaw on 31 August.
It is unknown when the committee will be formed and whether it will include opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who was proposed by Aye Maung at the parliamentary session.
In an open letter sent by Suu Kyi to President Thein Sein and the ethnic groups last month, Suu Kyi said that she is ready to become involved and use her influence to help end the conflicts and build peace in the nation.
Fighting for Autonomy
There are a dozen groups of ethnic insurgents that have been fighting for autonomy since Myanmar gained independence from Britain in 1949. Tensions have boiled over into bloody clashes in recent months, most notably between the Myanmar Army and the Kachin Independence Army, the Karen National Union and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

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