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Peace processes, ceasefires and ceasefire talks (websites, documents, reports and studies)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) (English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Description/subject: "The Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) provides information and training to support ethnic communities in Myanmar working on the peace process. This website provides resources and training materials and is one part of the Ethnic Peace Resources Project. A website User Guide is provided to help you."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) Ethnic peace resources project
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://eprpinformation.org/my/
Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


Title: Myanmar Peace Monitor
Description/subject: "Myanmar Peace Monitor is a project run by the Burma News International that works to support communication and understanding in the current efforts for peace and reconciliation in Myanmar. It aims to centralize information, track and make sense of the many events and stakeholders involved in the complex and multifaceted peace process..." ​
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma News International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


Title: Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI)
Description/subject: The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) was formed in March 2012 at the request of the Government of Myanmar for international support to the peace process... MPSI works with and engages the Government, the Myanmar Army, non-state armed and political groups, civil society actors and communities, as well as international partners to provide concrete support to the ceasefire process and emerging peace process. From the outset, the intention has been for the MPSI to provide temporary support to the emergence and consolidation of peace in the absence of appropriate longer-term structures and while more sustainable traditional international responses are mobilised. Over the last year, the Government has formed the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC), and donors have agreed to establish a secretariat to support the workings of the Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG). Efforts are being made to build the capacity of ethnic actors through the establishment of ethnic support structures. In line with its stated purpose of being a temporary structure, MPSI aspires to hand over many of its responsibilities and initiatives to permanent structures."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


Title: Peace Donor Support Group
Description/subject: "The Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG) was first convened in June 2012 by the Government of Norway at the request of President U Thein Sein in order to provide a common platform for dialogue between the donor community and the Government of Myanmar, and to better coordinate the international community’s support to peace in general and the provision of aid in conflict-affected areas. The Government of Myanmar asked that the Group be initially composed of Norway, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Bank. The US, Japan and Switzerland were invited to join the PDSG in May 2013. The efforts of the PDSG are premised on the belief that the current context represents an unprecedented opportunity to resolve ethnic conflicts, and that the international community can support the momentum for peace and help to build confidence in the peace-making process among key stake-holders. The engagement is also premised on the need for broad consultations with affected communities and civil society, and the acknowledgement of the importance of a political peace process. In addition to meeting the Union Government and NSAGs, the PDSG members also plan to continue to meet with civil society groups, and the wider donor community. These meetings provide an opportunity for the PDSG to demonstrate political support for the peace-making process, to get a better understanding of the needs and views of different stakeholders, enhance the co-ordination and coherence of peacebuilding support from donor partners, and for drawing on lessons from other, relevant international experiences. Some members of the Peace Donor Support Group, and other international donors, are also currently providing funding and technical support to Myanmar Peace Support Initiative."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Peace Donor Support Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


Individual Documents

Title: In Pursuit of Justice: Reflections on the past and hopes for the future of Burma
Date of publication: 07 July 2014
Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "Since 2011, Burma has begun to emerge from 50 dark years of dictatorship. Now, under President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government the possibility has arisen for Burma to begin rebuilding and reconciling divided segments of the nation, and to provide justice to victims for decades of human rights abuses. Burma’s minority ethnic communities have experienced grave human rights abuse at the hands of the SPDC regime and its strong arm of the Burmese military, or Tatmadaw. In order to transition successfully towards true democracy and national reconciliation, the Burmese government must address, and act upon, the specific needs expressed by victims of past abuse, documented and expounded herein, in order to move away from the abusive culture of the past towards a united future. Within this report you will find a detailed history of Burma’ ethnic conflict, how that conflict has been sewn into the very fabric of the SPDC regime’s ideology and governing strategy, and ways in which the Tatmadaw has implemented the regime’s strategy by crippling livelihoods, physically and mentally abusing, and destroying the security of Burma’s minority ethnic communities. The purpose of this report is to guide the Burmese government in the implementation of mechanisms of transitional justice in Burma. To achieve this goal, this report looks at Burma’s history of human rights violations and analyzes how to repair the relationship between the government and the citizens. The government has committed, and continues to commit, vast numbers of human rights abuses against its minority ethnic communities, violations including land confiscation; forced labor and forced portering; physical abuse, torture, and murder; and rape and sexual abuse. In order for the Burmese government to employ appropriate mechanisms of justice, this report identifies the effects such violations have had on the victims, and what the victims require from the government to provide adequate justice and reparations for such violations. Through this report, HURFOM hopes to hold a megaphone to the voices of Burma’s ethnic people regarding past human rights abuses. This report addresses victims’ expectations of the government for a future democratic Burma. Of utmost importance to building peace in Burma are three key elements of trust-building, national reconciliation, and transitional justice. The government must implement appropriate mechanisms to fulfill these three objectives in order to create sustainable peace throughout the country. Central to achieving these goals is the de-structuring of the SPDC’s pervasive culture of impunity surrounding human rights violations against its citizens. While impunity, unaccountability, extortion, and corruption continue to exist, there can be no repair of trust or unity within the society. Without eliminating all impunity, there will be no reconciliation in Burma. Minority ethnic communities in Burma have been traumatized by decades of abuse and exploitation. It is HURFOM’s hope that this report will push the government to provide healing to the victims from such trauma with realistic solutions and reparations. HURFOM also hopes to attract the world’s attention and urge international agencies and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to support reparations in Burma."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB-reduced version; 1.91MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/archives/3198 (Media release)
http://www.rehmonnya.org/reports/in-pursuit-of-justice.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2014


Title: Update on the Peace Process
Date of publication: July 2014
Description/subject: "Despite continuing tensions on the ground, armed ethnic groups involved in the peace process continue to move forward with attempts to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Although there remain many issues to be rectified, members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) are working on a nationwide ceasefire framework that will be acceptable to all parties. Recently, in June 2014, members of the NCCT met with their counterparts from the Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) in Thailand. While differences remain, it is hoped that a nationwide ceasefire agreement can be signed shortly..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 22
Format/size: pdf (109K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-22.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


Title: Armed Groups and Political Legitimacy (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 23 June 2014
Description/subject: "The peace process in Myanmar remains the best opportunity in many decades to address the political, social and economic issues that have long driven armed conflict. Although negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups have struggled to reach agreement on a number of key issues, there is still the prospect of negotiating a nationwide ceasefire accord in the next few months. Already, significant progress has been made both on the substance of negotiations and in bringing key actors to the table. However, continued military clashes in northern Myanmar have damaged confidence in the peace process, while progress in the talks has been slow due to different conceptions regarding the structure and legitimacy of the state, and of its challengers..."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" 23 June 2014
Format/size: pdf (79K)
Date of entry/update: 06 July 2014


Title: Armed Groups and Political Legitimacy (English)
Date of publication: 23 June 2014
Description/subject: "THE peace process in Myanmar remains the best opportunity in many decades to address the political, social and economic issues that have long driven armed conflict. Although negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups have struggled to reach agreement on a number of key issues, there is still the prospect of negotiating a nationwide ceasefire accord in the next few months. Already, significant progress has been made both on the substance of negotiations and in bringing key actors to the table. However, continued military clashes in northern Myanmar have damaged confidence in the peace process, while progress in the talks has been slow due to different conceptions regarding the structure and legitimacy of the state, and of its challengers..."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" 23 June 2014
Format/size: pdf (59K)
Date of entry/update: 06 July 2014


Title: Wardrums in Myanmar's Wa hills
Date of publication: 23 April 2014
Description/subject: "Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, or Tatmadaw, is a man on the move. Since the beginning of the year he has traveled to Laos and Indonesia, attended large-scale war games in central Myanmar, reviewed the country's largest ever naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, presided over the annual Army Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw and met with a string of foreign dignitaries. A recent less publicized engagement was arguably more significant for Myanmar's war and peace prospects. On April 6, Min Aung Hlaing flew north from Naypyidaw to the garrison town of Lashio in northeastern Shan State to hold talks with Bao You-ri, the younger brother of Bao You-xiang, the ailing leader of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Based east of the Salween River in a self-governing "special region", the UWSA is Myanmar's largest insurgent group and is at present in an uneasy ceasefire with the government..."
Author/creator: Anthony Davis
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


Title: Open Democracy - The Myanmar context
Date of publication: 28 March 2014
Description/subject: "For the first time since independence, government forces and most Ethnic Armed Groups have stopped fighting. This is an historic achievement in peace-making. However, the ceasefire process has yet to be transformed into a substantial and sustainable phase of peace-building..."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Open Democracy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 March 2014


Title: A federal army for Myanmar?
Date of publication: 24 March 2014
Description/subject: "Many observers of Myanmar's political transition agree that the success of President Thein Sein's democratic reforms and national reconciliation initiatives hinges on his quasi-civilian government's ability and willingness to accommodate the political demands and desires of various ethnic groups. Chief among those demands are greater political, economic and cultural autonomy in the form of federalism and control over the exploitation of natural resources in their geographic regions. But as political maneuvers and negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire..."
Author/creator: Saw Greh Moo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


Title: Lessons Learned from MPSI’s work supporting the peace process in Myanmar - March 2012 to March 2014
Date of publication: March 2014
Description/subject: "EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – THE MYANMAR PEACE SUPPORT INITIATIVE The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) • The MPSI was launched in March 2012, following a request from the Government of Myanmar to the Government of Norway to lead international support to the peace process. MPSI was never intended to be a mediation initiative, but rather designed to come in just behind the political momentum of the peace process, helping to support ceasefire agreements reached by the Government and Ethnic Armed Groups. Enabling this role to be played by an international actor was a first for Myanmar, reflecting the new opportunity for peace between national actors. It was also quite a unique arrangement in comparison to other peace-­‐making processes internationally. • This report brings together research conducted in the last year, including an MPSI ‘Reflections’ report produced in early 2013, an independent review of MPSI undertaken in 2014, and is informed by field trips, discussions with peace process stakeholders, the insights of MPSI staff, meetings and workshops with Government and Ethnic Armed Groups, community meetings and project reporting. The report seeks to reflect on those two years of support, and suggest ways to frame and improve international support to the peace process and aid into conflict-­‐affected areas. • In the last two years MPSI has facilitated projects that built trust and confidence in -­‐ and tested -­‐ the ceasefires, disseminated lessons learned from these experiences, and sought to strengthen the local and international coordination of assistance to the peace process. In doing so MPSI engaged with the Government, Myanmar Army, Ethnic Armed Groups, political parties, civil society actors and communities, as well as international partners, to provide concrete support to the ceasefires and emerging peace process. • MPSI associated projects have been undertaken across five ethnic States (Chin, Shan, Mon, Karen and Kayah) and two Regions (Bago and Tanintharyi). Projects have been delivered in partnership with seven Ethnic Armed Groups, thirteen local partners (four of which are consortia), and nine international partners. Flexible and responsive funding was received from Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the European Union and Australia. • From the outset, the intention had been for the MPSI to provide temporary support to the emergence and consolidation of peace, in the absence of appropriate, longer-­‐term structures and while more sustainable international peace support responses were mobilised. In line with its stated purpose of being a temporary structure, MPSI aspired for its work to be continued by local actors, national and international Non-­‐governmental organisations and other entities including sector donor funding instruments, such as the Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG). • There have been many contextual, political and structural challenges for MPSI in carrying out its role. These have included tensions in the peace process itself, especially delays in starting necessary political dialogue; managing the expectations of key stakeholders; developing MPSI’s own working processes (without creating an ‘institutionalised’ structure); limitations in capacity and knowledge (especially regarding best practice to enable community agency and empowerment); and maintaining a flexible, adaptive, responsive strategy (i.e. working without a ‘blue print’) while implementation was already underway. • The following paper seeks to set out lessons, reflections and insights on the work of MPSI. It is composed of a background section, a section on lessons learned during two years of MPSI’s work, and a section examining application of the New Deal Framework1 to the Myanmar context..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative
Format/size: pdf (689K)
Date of entry/update: 28 March 2014


Title: Women's voices not being heard in peace talks
Date of publication: 18 December 2013
Description/subject: December 18, 2013 "Negotiations between the government and representatives from 18 armed ethnic groups give a glimpse of the potential for positive changes to come to Myanmar’s embattled ethnic states. However, these talks also cast a spotlight on the dismal state of gender discrimination in the country: All of the chief negotiators are men..."
Author/creator: Taylor Landis
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" via Fortify Rights
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


Title: Listen To Us – Stop Ignoring Our Concerns
Date of publication: 12 October 2013
Description/subject: "A number of international governments, organisations and individuals try to squeeze the current situation of the Karen people into a narrow, restrictive and simplistic narrative that is usually framed like this. ‘After more than sixty years of conflict, at last the Karen have peace. There has been a ceasefire for almost two years, the Karen National Union and government of Burma are in dialogue, development projects and aid are coming into Karen State to help the people, and finally refugees can return home.’ If all this is true, why aren’t Karen people celebrating? As a nation, the Karen people have suffered so much. Generation after generation has grown up in fear, facing conflict, displacement and repression. Unknown millions have been forced from their homes, uncounted thousands have been killed, and there has been so much suffering. Surely if there is a real peace, we’d all be happy? Certainly for several communities in conflict zones the ceasefire makes a big difference. People are not being attacked as they were before, their villages destroyed, their lives taken, and the use of forced labour has fallen. However, even in these communities there is great caution. It’s a caution shared by most Karen people across Burma, in neighbouring Thailand, and those further abroad. International observers should be trying to understand exactly why people who have suffered so much from conflict and human rights abuses are not celebrating the current peace and reform process. If they fail to do so, they’ll fail to understand what is happening in Burma, and they will never see the lasting peace they claim they want to see in our country..."
Author/creator: Zoya Phan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Karen News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2013


Title: BURMA KIO Signs New Peace Deal, But Still No Ceasefire
Date of publication: 10 October 2013
Description/subject: "The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has signed another preliminary peace deal with the Burma government pledging to reduce fighting, while stopping short of a full ceasefire. The seven-point agreement signed on Thursday goes a step further than past agreements by calling for the establishment of a joint monitoring team to monitor troops on the frontlines. It also calls for the development of a plan for the voluntary return and resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as the reopening of roads that have been closed due to fighting. The deal came after three days of discussion between leaders of the KIO and the government peace delegation in the Kachin State capital, Myitkyina..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2013


Title: Burma’s Ethnic Challenge: From Aspirations to Solution
Date of publication: October 2013
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Ultimately, it must be for Burma’s peoples to decide their political future. As in previous times of change, the present landscape looks uncertain and complex. But for the first time in decades, the issues of peace, democracy and promises of ethnic equality agreed at Burma’s independence are back for national debate and attracting international attention. This marks an important change from the preceding years of conflict and malaise under military rule, and expectations are currently high. It is vital therefore that opportunities are not lost and that the present generation of leaders succeed in achieving peace and justice where others before them have failed. Realism and honesty about the tasks ahead are essential. Burma’s leaders and parties, on all sides of the political and ethnic spectrum, still have much to achieve.".....Recommendations: "To end the legacy of state failure, the present time of national transition must be used for inclusive solutions that involve all peoples of Burma. The most important changes in national politics have started in many decades. Now all sides have to halt military operations and engage in sociopolitical dialogue that includes government, military, ethnic, political and civil society representatives. Political agreements will be essential to achieve lasting peace, democracy and ethnic rights. National reconciliation and equality must be the common aim. The divisive tradition of different agreements and processes with different ethnic and political groups must end. In building peace and democracy, peoplecentred and pro-poor economic reforms are vital. Land-grabbing must halt, and development programmes should be appropriate, sustainable and undertaken with the consent of the local peoples. Humanitarian aid should be prioritized for the most needy and vulnerable communities and not become a source of political advantage or division. As peace develops, internally displaced persons and refugees must be supported to return to their places of origin and to rebuild divided societies in the ethnic borderlands. The international community must play a neutral and supportive role in the achievement of peace and democracy. National reform is at an early stage, and it is vital that ill-planned strategies or investments do not perpetuate political failures and ethnic injustice."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland
Format/size: pdf (1.13MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/TNI-Burma%92s_Ethnic_Challenge-From_Aspirations_to_Solution-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


Title: Myanmar's Shan see long path to peace
Date of publication: 06 September 2013
Description/subject: "Deep in Myanmar's mountainous terrain near the border with Thailand, the rebel Shan State Army (SSA) has one of its main bases. The slow drive from the border on a steep winding track through the jungle along the top of a ravine takes several hours. There, Lieutenant General Yawd Serk commands one of the last ethnic armies still fighting for autonomy against the Myanmar military. The SSA-South army, as it's popularly known, numbers several thousand armed troops. Shan rebel leaders insist that they have at least 20,000 trained soldiers; Thai military intelligence sources suggest the figure is now less than 10,000 under arms. They have been fighting against the Myanmar army since 1995, after a group of rebels refused to accept a ceasefire agreement signed by the Mong Tai army led by the Shan supremo at the time, the now deceased drug baron Khun Sa..."
Author/creator: Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


Title: Economics of Peace and Conflict
Date of publication: September 2013
Description/subject: Executive summary: "The attention on business concessions and economic development in peace negotiations is a highly controversial issue that many believe compromises the core question of political and national identity issues. However it is important to recognise that major grievances that fuel conflict are related to economics, namely negative impacts of development projects on local communities and competition over control of economic resources between local ethnic groups and the central government. Moreover, Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) themselves realise that fighting for the rights of their people cannot avoid the question of economics as money and power are inextricably linked. This report explores the economic roots of conflict in an attempt to identify peaceful solutions. It observes six main economic grievances that drive conflict in Myanmar, and tries to analyse the different measures being taken to address each of them. These grievances include increased militarisation of economic projects, lack of ownership and management power over natural resources, land confiscation, environmental and social impact of economic projects, poverty and underdevelopment in ethnic nationality areas. The reformist government has tried to respond to each of these grievances by initiating a multitude of bills, policies, development plans, commissions and committees under the existing constitution. NSAGs have tried to address these issues, sometimes independently, but more often through demands in peace negotiations with the government. Civil society groups also play an active role in voicing local needs and grievances that are important in informing sound decision making for policy solutions. International aid supports these different actors and reforms through financial and technical assistance. Analysing the wide-ranging attempts to address economic grievances reveals an important discovery that the key hindrance to ongoing reforms and implementation of peace agreements is the continued power of the military over the economy and government administrative structure. Its own economic interests and ideologies in dealing with NSAGs inevitably put them in opposition to the government’s plans to change existing power structures. The centralisation of key ownership and management power over natural resources stipulated in the 2008 Constitution also mean that the government’s enthusiasm for decentralisation reforms will not solve the ethnic struggle. The military's legacy may explain why - despite the many attempted solutions - conflict has not abated and locals have yet to witness major improvements in their lives. Ensuring that these solutions can succeed in achieving real change and sustainable peace will not only rely on great skill but reforming the old powers of the military and transforming it into a professional defence army. Understanding the underlying economic interests of competing groups in Myanmar is therefore critical in achieving the much desired peace and stability."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Peace Monitor, Burma News International
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB-reduced version; 13.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.mmpeacemonitor.org/images/pdf/economics_peace_and_conflict_eng.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


Title: ANALYSIS OF THE UNFC POSITION
Date of publication: 06 August 2013
Description/subject: EBO analysis of the UNFC position developed at its Chiangmai meeting of 29-31 July, 2013...contains article-by article analuysis plus a chart of the relative strength of the UNFC and non-UNFC forces.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO) Briefing Paper No. 4/2013
Format/size: pdf (393K)
Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


Title: Draft Framework for Political Negotiations
Date of publication: 02 August 2013
Description/subject: DRAFT PEACE AGREEMENT: WGEC Decision Aug 1-2, 2013 (Burmese); Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2 August 2013 (Draft, English); Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2 August 2013 (Draft, Burmese)... ANNEXES: ANNEX 1: Scope of participation.... ANNEX 2: Dialogue issues... ANNEX 3: Graphics: Panglong 2014 Graphic (English); Panglong 2014 Graphic (Burmese); Panglong II Graphic - Dialogue and Peace Process & Structures (Burmese); Panglong II Graphic - Dialogue and Peace Process & Structures (English); Burma Road Map (English); Burma Road Map (Burmese)
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC)
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2013


Title: Statement of the Ethnic Nationalities Conference, August 2, 2013
Date of publication: 02 August 2013
Description/subject: "1. Under the aegis of the UNFC, an Ethnic Nationality Conference was held from July 29 to 31 at a certain place in the liberated area. 2. A total of 122 delegates, representing the UNFC member organizations, 18 resistance organizations, the United Nationality Alliance, 4 political parties of the ethnic nationalities, youth organizations, women organizations, community-based organizations, the overseas ethnic nationality organizations, academics and active individuals. 3. The delegates freely discussed matters relating to the current situation in Burma/Myanmar, enhancement of the unity of the ethnic nationalities and establishment of a future, peaceful, prosperous and genuine Federal Union. 4. The historic conference, in unity, adopted the following important positions and decisions..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
Format/size: pdf (165K)
Date of entry/update: 08 August 2013


Title: THE UNFC AND THE PEACE PROCESS
Date of publication: August 2013
Description/subject: OVERVIEW: "At the beginning of June 2013 the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance representing 11 armed ethnic groups, took the unanticipated decision of withdrawing from the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC). The WGEC had been formulating a framework that would focus on upcoming political dialogue including the agenda, the composition, the mandate, the structure, any transitional arrangements, and also its core principles.1 After the WGEC had created the framework that would be used in the peace process the UNFC declared that the WGEC was no longer relevant. And, as such, should be disbanded thus allowing the UNFC, using the framework, to be the sole negotiator with the Government. According to UNFC General Secretary Nai Han Tha: "The main object for setting up the WGEC was to design a draft framework for political dialogue with the government . . . Now that the work is completed, we have to focus on the negotiations with the government instead." Khun Okker, the UNFC joint Secretary – stated that one of the main reasons for the UNFC’s withdrawal from the WGEC was that: "We came to a hitch concerning the formation of the negotiation team . . . The WGEC wanted an overhaul (to make way for non-UNFC movements) while we could allow only a UNFC plus arrangement." According to the Euro-Burma office which supports the activities of the WGEC, the WGEC itself had proposed that a negotiating team be formed, in March 2013, for all armed ethnic groups. It was this proposition, that would have been all-inclusive involving both UNFC and non-UNFC members, that led to the UNFC withdrawal and its call for the WGEC to be disbanded. In an attempt to consolidate its negotiating position and secure further support for such a mandate, the UNFC organised a multi-ethnic conference from July 29 to July 31 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In total 122 delegates attended including 18 armed ethnic groups and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which is comprised of ethnic political parties that had contested the 1990 election. In addition, representatives from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and exiled representatives of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)also attended. Neither the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) nor the Karen National Union attended the conference...The conference resulted in six major points being made:..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 16)
Format/size: pdf (150K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-16.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


Title: Rain for Myanmar's peace parade
Date of publication: 25 June 2013
Description/subject: "A grand ceremony is expected to be held next month in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, where a nationwide ceasefire with various ethnic resistance armies will be announced to an audience of United Nations representatives and other foreign dignitaries. Ten of Myanmar's 11 major ethnic rebel groups who have signed individual ceasefire agreements with the government will be highlighted at the high-profile event. The one main rebel outlier, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), has not yet reached a ceasefire agreement. The most recent round of talks between KIA and government representatives in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina held between May 28-30 failed to yield the deal government authorities anticipated. The two sides agreed only to a seven-point agreement stating that "the parties undertake efforts to achieve de-escalation and cessation of hostilities" and "to hold a political dialogue" - though no firm commitment was made concerning when such talks would commence..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: Comprehensive Union Peace & Ceasefire Agreement Burma/Myanmar, 8 April 2013 (English & Burmese text)
Date of publication: 20 June 2013
Description/subject: Comprehensive Union Peace & Ceasefire Agreement, Burma/Myanmar, 8 April 2013 [made public, 20 June 2013)... CONCEPT DRAFT 1: Based on the: - Ceasefire Agreements between the Government and Ethnic Armed Groups (Nov. 2011-Dec. 2012) - Preliminary Framework Agreement (Dec. 2012), - Statement of Ethnic Nationalities 2012 Conference, - Consultations with EAG’s leadership (Jan – April 2013), - Statement from Civil Society Forum for Peace 2012.
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: pdf (97K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/2013-06-Comprehensive-union-peace-ceasefire-agreement-bu.html
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/2013-06-Comprehensive-union-peace-ceasefire-agreement-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


Title: Ethnic working group presents draft framework for political negotiations
Date of publication: 20 June 2013
Description/subject: "After being shrouded in secrecy for months, it was disclosed at a recent meeting in Chiangmai that the long-awaited draft framework for the planned nationwide political dialogue had been presented to the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) that serves as a technical advisory body for the government last month... Included in the draft entitled “Comprehensive National Peace and Ceasefire Agreement” are: A 15-point common principles (including Panglong Agreement, non-secession and inclusivity) * A 14-point nationwide ceasefire accord (including establishment of Military Code of Conduct, Joint Ceasefire Committee and liaison offices) * A 6-point framework agreement for political dialogue (including setting up of a joint National Dialogue Steering Committee and holding of National Dialogue Conference) * A 9-point transitional arrangement (including time frame, empowerment of vulnerable groups and land reform issues)... * Scope of participation (900 participants from government, political parties and ethnic armed movements) * A 9-point dialogue issues (including constitutional reforms, security reforms, land issues, drug eradication, IDP/refugee issues, language and cultural nights and media issues) *Military Code of Conduct (as drafted by the Karen National Union).....[Link to the text of the agreement at the foot of the article]
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


Title: To Hopeland and back (Part II) #2
Date of publication: 19 June 2013
Description/subject: "Day One (9 June 2013): One of the obvious reasons the armed opposition has refused to enter government-controlled territory is because one is, at least psychologically, disadvantaged over one’s counterpart in the control of a situation. Many, like the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers, have therefore conducted their negotiations outside the country. Chairman Yawdserk however has adopted a different approach. He insisted that the first meeting, in 2008, must be held in a third country where each side would have an equal chance to put the feelers out on the other before deciding on the course of action to be taken..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


Title: To Hopeland and Back (Part II) #1
Date of publication: 18 June 2013
Description/subject: "So I am back in Chiang Mai, which is the town that I have been in and out of since 1971, and where I have lived and worked since 1996, I have returned from an 8-day sojourn, 9-12 June, to Burma. I have come to call the country Hopeland, as it is a place full of hopes and dreams after more than 60 years of nightmares. I traveled to Hopeland on the invitation of Lt.-Gen. Yawdserk, who was invited by U Aung Min, Vice Chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC). The following events were organized by our hosts:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


Title: Ongoing struggles
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: Key Points: • Myanmar's central democratic reforms have received broad backing, enabling it to boost its legitimacy and consolidate its hold on power. • Although tentative ceasefires have been concluded with most of the ethno-nationalist armed groups, there is no clear timeline or plan to address longstanding demands for self-rule and the protection of cultural identities. • Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the principal protagonist in the struggle for ethnic rights, has been the focus of sustained military offensives. As Myanmar's democratic reform process rumbles on, military offensives continue despite ceasefires between most of the ethno-nationalist rebel armies and the government. Curtis W Lambrecht examines the road to peace in the country.
Author/creator: Curtis W Lambrecht
Language: English
Source/publisher: Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, May 2013,
Format/size: pdf (95K)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2013


Title: Powers Seek Influence in Burma’s Conflict
Date of publication: 18 March 2013
Description/subject: "Burma’s President Thein Sein, while visiting Europe, announced that the government’s fighting against ethnic resistance forces has ended – even as the government moves more troops into the troubled areas. Meanwhile, the United States and China are scrambling for influence by brokering peace to end the ethnic conflicts. Dozens of think tanks and NGOs from the West are attracting donor funds and pouring into the country. “The outcome has been overlapping initiatives, rivalry among organizations – and, more often than not, a lack of understanding by inexperienced ‘peacemakers’ of the conflicts’ root causes,” explains journalist and author Bertil Lintner. China, unhappy with Burma’s embrace of the West, has been actively leading peace talks since January. Lintner points out that China’s Yunnan Province has more than 130,000 ethnic Kachin who sympathize with their fellow Burmese Kachin. Motivations may differ, but China and the US both want the conflicts to end. Burma’s leaders may find it difficult to pursue military solutions, continuing sending troops north, while playing China and the United States off each other..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Yale Global Online -Yale Center for the Study of Globalization
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 March 2013


Title: Finally, a Window for Peace in Burma
Date of publication: 09 March 2013
Description/subject: "Civil war has plagued Burma for over 60 years now. At a number of times throughout that period, the ethnic rebel groups fighting for autonomy from the central government attempted to join forces. But their common foe, the Burmese military, consistently refused to have any dealings with alliances that tried to bring together all the restive minorities into a common front. The reason for this was simple: The generals always understood that ethnic rebels tend to be a fractious bunch, and that it’s only too easy to incite defections by playing to a particular group’s sectional interests (whether it be the offer of a favorable deal or the threat of a harsh crackdown). As a result, the Burmese army developed considerable expertise in the subtleties of divide and rule. On Feb. 20, this well-established scenario finally collapsed. For the first time, the Burmese government’s senior ministers met with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of 11 ethnic armed groups, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. According to a joint statement released after the meeting, the discussion focused on establishing an agenda for future political dialogue between the government and the ethnic council..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


Title: Investing in peace: the role of business in Myanmar’s peace process
Date of publication: 08 March 2013
Description/subject: "As the peace negotiations in Myanmar continue at an ever-increasing pace, the necessity for regulated, transparent, and ethical business opportunities increases. While there has been much negative criticism of business’s role in the peace process, with government talks often being attended and in some cases financed by businessmen, the need for development in ethnic states should not be overshadowed by political short-sightedness and worries over the inclusion of the private sector. It is essential that ethnic armed groups, in a time of peace, should move away from their current main sources of income, which include taxing the local communities, logging and mining, to less socially and environmentally destructive forms of supporting themselves. And the private sector can facilitate this. While environmental activists will argue that the inclusion of business is detrimental to the peace process, it is essential in areas that have been underdeveloped for decades..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 March 2013


Title: Mapping of Myanmar Peacebuilding Civil Society
Date of publication: 07 March 2013
Description/subject: This paper was prepared in the framework of the Civil Society Dialogue Network (CSDN) http://www.eplo.org/civil-society-dialogue-network.html The paper was produced as background for the CSDN meeting entitled ‘Supporting Myanmar’s Evolving Peace Processes: What Roles for Civil Society and the EU?’ which took place in Brussels on 7 March 2013...."The peace process currently underway in Myanmar represents the best opportunity in half a century to resolve ethnic and state-society conflicts. The most significant challenges facing the peace process are: to initiate substantial political dialogue between the government and NSAGs (broaden the peace process); to include participation of civil society and affected communities (deepen the peace process); to demonstrate the Myanmar Army’s willingness to support the peace agenda. Communities in many parts of the country are already experiencing benefits, particularly in terms of freedom of movement and reduction in more serious human rights abuses. Nevertheless, communities have serious concerns regarding the peace process, including in the incursion of business interests (e.g. natural resource extraction projects) into previously inaccessible, conflict-affected areas. Concerns also relate to the exclusion thus far of most local actors from meaningful participation in the peace process. Indeed, many civil society actors and political parties express growing resentment at being excluded from the peace process..."
Author/creator: Charles Petrie, Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: Civil Society Dialogue Network
Format/size: pdf (266K)
Alternate URLs: http://eplo.org/geographic-meetings.html (This EPLO page has links to related studies and papers)
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2013


Title: Joint Statement by the UPWC and UNFC
Date of publication: 20 February 2013
Description/subject: "...The eleven-member Union Peace Working Committee delegation, led by its Vice Chairman H.E. U Aung Min, and including Union Ministers H.E. U Khin Yi, H.E. U Ohn Myint, and Deputy Attorney General U Htun Htun Oo met with a United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) twelve-member political negotiation team led by Nai Hong Sar and Dr. La Ja to discuss the Framework for Political Dialogue between 9:00 am to 17:00 pm on February 20, 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand-Burma Border
Format/size: pdf (65K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.thailandburmaborder.org/joint-statement-by-the-upwc-and-unfc/
Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


Title: ALLIED IN WAR , DIVIDED IN PEACE - The Future of Ethnic Unity in Burma
Date of publication: February 2013
Description/subject: "On 20 February 2013, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) an 11 member ethnic alliance met with the Burmese Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) at the Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The meeting , supported by the Nippon Foundation, was an attempt by Government negotiators to include all relevant actor s in the peace process. The UNFC is seen as one of the last remaining actors to represent the various armed ethnic groups in the country (for more information see BP No.6 Establishing a Common Framework) and has frequently sought to negotiate terms as an inclusive ethnic alliance...According to peace negotiator Nyo Ohn Myint , discussing the most recent meeting, in February 2013: Primarily they will discuss framework for starting the peace process, beginning with: addressing ways to advance political dialogue; the division of rev enue and resources between the central government and the ethnic states; and how to maintain communica tion channels for further talks. Khun Okker, who attended the meeting, suggested that the February meeting was primarily a trust building exercise for th e UNFC and the Government. While individual armed groups had spoken to U Aung Min throughout their negotiation processes and some had already built up trust with the negotiation team. He believed that the UNFC would be more cautious in its approach in relation to the peace process, especially considering the continuing clashes with UNFC members including the KIO and SSPP/SSA..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan, Editor: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 12, February 2013)
Format/size: pdf (215K)
Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


Title: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process - A Reference Guide, 2013 (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: January 2013
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The new nominally civilian government is making serious efforts to achieve peace in Myanmar after more than 60 years of civil war. Peace is critical for ending human suffering and achieving stability; a precondition for overcoming poverty, ensuring long term development and protecting human rights. Most importantly, peace is essential for implementing a stable democracy. In 2015, Myanmar will become a full member of the ASEAN community in which it is responsible to meet the standards outlined in the ASEAN charter. Although all sides want the confl ict to end, achieving peace is no easy task. The protracted civil war in Myanmar is complicated not only by the sheer number of ethnic armed groups who are competing for regional and domestic interests, but also from the lack of trust and misunderstandings resulting from poor communication and transparency on all sides. Therefore it is crucial to carefully monitor the peace process to improve understanding and clarity necessary for establishing lasting peace. This book serves as a reference guide for media outlets and stakeholders involved in the peace process. It provides an overall picture of the problems resulting from the ongoing confl icts, identifi es the root causes that need to be addressed and maps out the entire structure of the peace plan. By identifying all the key actors, their interests and activities for peace, it becomes possible to make sense of the complicated relationships, as well as points of convergence and confl ict related to their activities. In this sense, the information compiled in this book will help readers locate actors and events that form the larger picture to understand how they are interconnected in the peace process. By both clarifying and tracking the developments, this book has identifi ed some important issues that need to be addressed. One of these includes transparency; confusion and contradicting information about all of the activities is hindering the peace process. Transparency is not only key to effective policy planning and implementation, but also for overcoming distrust and building confi dence between the various actors. An immediate end to the confl icts in Kachin and northern Shan state is also crucial to prevent the crisis from further spiraling out of control. At present there is a divergence between the government and ethnic road map to peace. A political settlement that details power sharing, fair distribution of natural resources and an alternative to the government’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme that could unify all ethnic armed groups within the Union would help to bridge this current gap. Burma News International (BNI) is a unique alliance of 11 independent media organizations, 9 of which represent different ethnic groups from Myanmar. BNI’s bases of operation include Yangon and many of the countries bordering with Myanmar. Our members’ extensive networks provided the means to an end to access all of the detailed information about the various viii Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process ethnic armed groups, community groups and the government that is compiled in this book. As Myanmar undergoes one of the most signifi cant political transformations in the country’s history, BNI will continue to monitor and advocate for both media freedom and transparency leading towards democracy and sustainable peace."
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Burma News International
Format/size: pdf (5MB, 7MB-reduced versions; 22.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Myanmar-Peace-Process-bu-ocr-tu-red.pdf
http://burmese.bnionline.net/images/2013/pdf/Myanmar-Peace-Process-Burmese-version.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


Title: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process - A Reference Guide, 2013 (English)
Date of publication: January 2013
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The new nominally civilian government is making serious efforts to achieve peace in Myanmar after more than 60 years of civil war. Peace is critical for ending human suffering and achieving stability; a precondition for overcoming poverty, ensuring long term development and protecting human rights. Most importantly, peace is essential for implementing a stable democracy. In 2015, Myanmar will become a full member of the ASEAN community in which it is responsible to meet the standards outlined in the ASEAN charter. Although all sides want the confl ict to end, achieving peace is no easy task. The protracted civil war in Myanmar is complicated not only by the sheer number of ethnic armed groups who are competing for regional and domestic interests, but also from the lack of trust and misunderstandings resulting from poor communication and transparency on all sides. Therefore it is crucial to carefully monitor the peace process to improve understanding and clarity necessary for establishing lasting peace. This book serves as a reference guide for media outlets and stakeholders involved in the peace process. It provides an overall picture of the problems resulting from the ongoing confl icts, identifi es the root causes that need to be addressed and maps out the entire structure of the peace plan. By identifying all the key actors, their interests and activities for peace, it becomes possible to make sense of the complicated relationships, as well as points of convergence and confl ict related to their activities. In this sense, the information compiled in this book will help readers locate actors and events that form the larger picture to understand how they are interconnected in the peace process. By both clarifying and tracking the developments, this book has identifi ed some important issues that need to be addressed. One of these includes transparency; confusion and contradicting information about all of the activities is hindering the peace process. Transparency is not only key to effective policy planning and implementation, but also for overcoming distrust and building confi dence between the various actors. An immediate end to the confl icts in Kachin and northern Shan state is also crucial to prevent the crisis from further spiraling out of control. At present there is a divergence between the government and ethnic road map to peace. A political settlement that details power sharing, fair distribution of natural resources and an alternative to the government’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme that could unify all ethnic armed groups within the Union would help to bridge this current gap. Burma News International (BNI) is a unique alliance of 11 independent media organizations, 9 of which represent different ethnic groups from Myanmar. BNI’s bases of operation include Yangon and many of the countries bordering with Myanmar. Our members’ extensive networks provided the means to an end to access all of the detailed information about the various viii Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process ethnic armed groups, community groups and the government that is compiled in this book. As Myanmar undergoes one of the most signifi cant political transformations in the country’s history, BNI will continue to monitor and advocate for both media freedom and transparency leading towards democracy and sustainable peace."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma News International
Format/size: pdf (2MB-OBL version; 21.2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.bnionline.net/images/2013/pdf/Deciphering-Myanmar%E2%80%99s-Peace-Process-For-Web.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 February 2013


Title: Prospects for Peace in Myanmar: Opportunities and Threats
Date of publication: 12 December 2012
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "This paper examines the peace process in Myanmar from the perspectives of the Myanmar government and Army, and non-state armed groups, as well as ethnic nationality political and civil society actors and conflict affected communities. It argues that this is the best opportunity to resolve ethnic conflicts in the country since the military coup of 1962. However, the peace process will not ultimately succeed unless the government demonstrates a commitment to engage on the political issues which have long structured armed conflicts in Myanmar, and can also bring fighting to an end in Kachin and Shan States. On the political front, important progress was made in October-November 2012 in the relationship between government peace envoys and non-state armed groups. The government seems committed to political talks, although it is not yet clear how and when these will begin in earnest. In some ways, it will be easier for the government to initiate political talks with opposition groups, than to ensure that the Myanmar Army follows the peace agenda. Recent negotiations with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) have made little progress, resulting in a worrying continuation of armed conflict in northern Myanmar. This paper sketches different - sometimes contested - positions regarding the peace process in Myanmar, on the part of different ethnic actors, and analyses their strategies. It goes on to describe and discuss some of the winners and losers in the peace process. The paper argues that, in order to build a sustainable and deep-rooted peace process, it is necessary to involve conflict-affected communities and civil society organisations and above-ground ethnic political parties; it is also necessary to re-imagine peace and conflict in Myanmar as issues affecting the whole of society, including the Burman majority. The paper concludes by sketching a ‘framework agreement’, by which the government and representatives of minority communities could move onto a substantial political discourse.".....CONTENTS: 1. Abstract; 2. Introduction; 3. Key Challenges; 4. Background; 5. 2012: Prospects for Peace; 6. The Myanmar Government and Army; 7. Ethnic Actors; 8. Potential Spoilers; 9. Supporting the Peace Process, Doing No Harm; 10. Ways Forward; 11. References; 12. List of Non State Armed Groups (NSAGs)
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: Peace Reserch Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
Format/size: pdf (706K)
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2012


Title: Myanmar’s current peace processes : a new role for women?
Date of publication: December 2012
Description/subject: Introduction: "Myanmar has experienced one of the most complex and long lasting armed conflicts in the world. Since 1948, successive military governments have come to power under the guise of managing diverse ethnic armed groups with demands for self-determination and the granting of equal rights to ethnic nationalities. While a lack of democracy has often been seen as Myanmar’s main challenge, in fact the most influential factor in the country’s ethnic conflict is the militarisation of the government. On the one hand the newly elected government is pushing democratic reforms, and on the other, the emergence of a sustainable and just state of peace remains an issue of concern, especially among the general population. The inclusion of women in the peace processes in Myanmar is minimal but awareness among women in civil society of the importance of inclusion is high. This Opinion Piece will endeavor to assess the roles of women and their contributions in the current complex dynamics in Myanmar, and suggest ways in which they could be developed in the interests of a just, sustainable peace in the country." ....Conclusion: "Despite cultural perceptions and the male-dominated political setting which places constraints on acknowledging women’s leadership, the changing political context is an open door to expand the participation of women in peace processes. One should acknowledge that the awareness-raising on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment programmes, which has been supported by international organisations, is contributing towards women’s ability to expand their participation in the public domain. In addition, the commitment to support Myanmar’s peace processes and the influence from the international community encourage the leaders of all parties involved in current peace processes to reflect on the inclusion of women. Though there is some will and interest from male political leaders to include women in peace processes, it does not come automatically. The peace door is not locked for women but a strong and collective effort is still needed to open the door for women’s participation in the peace processes in Myanmar."
Author/creator: Ja Nan Lahtaw & Nang Raw
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Centre for Humanitaian Dialogue (The HD Centre)
Format/size: pdf (225K-OBL version; 435K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hdcentre.org/files/Myanmar%20FINAL.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2013


Title: Steps towards peace: Local participation in the Karen ceasefire process
Date of publication: 07 November 2012
Description/subject: "This commentary considers Karen villagers' perspectives on impacts of the ceasefire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Government of the Union of Myanmar. In light of their concerns, this commentary makes workable recommendations about what the most effective next steps could be for negotiating parties and for stakeholders in the ceasefire process. Building on KHRG's previous analysis in Safeguarding human rights in a post-ceasefire in eastern Burma, published in January 2012, this commentary brings to light new evidence of villagers' perspectives. Documentation received since the ceasefire reveals some positive changes, but also raises concerns about ongoing human rights abuses in the post-conflict environment, as a result of ingrained abusive practices and a lack of accountability, particularly in areas where there has been an increase in business, development, natural resource extraction, accompanied by a continued military presence. KHRG believes that the perpetration of abuses is exacerbated, and villagers' options to respond effectively limited, both by the lack of opportunities for genuine local input and a dearth of information-sharing concerning new developments. Analysis for this commentary was prepared based on a collaborative workshop held between all staff members at KHRG's administrative office, as well as field documentation and oral testimony received since January 2012 from villagers in all KHRG research areas, which incorporate all or parts of Kayin and Mon States, and Bago and Tanintharyi Regions..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (66K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c3.html
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012


Title: Changing Realities, Poverty and Displacement in South East Burma/Myanmar - 2012 Survey (TBC)
Date of publication: 31 October 2012
Description/subject: "A significant decrease in forced displacement has been documented by community‐based organisations in South East Myanmar after a series of ceasefire agreements were negotiated earlier this year. While armed conflict continues in Kachin State and communal violence rages in Rakhine State, field surveys indicate that that there has been a substantial decrease in hostilities affecting Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon communities. In its annual survey of displacement and poverty released today, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) estimates that 10,000 people were forced from their homes during the past year in comparison to an average of 75,000 people displaced every year during the previous decade. While there remain at least 400,000 internally displaced persons in rural areas of South East Myanmar, the tentative return of 37,000 civilians to their villages or surrounding areas reflects hope for an end to displacement. After supporting refugees and internally displaced persons for nearly three decades, TBBC’s Executive Director Jack Dunford is optimistic about the possibility of forging a sustainable solution but conscious that there are many obstacles still to come. “The challenge of transforming preliminary ceasefire agreements into a substantive peace process is immense, but this is the best chance we have ever had to create the conditions necessary to support voluntary and dignified return in safety”, said Mr Dunford. Poverty assessments conducted by TBBC’s community‐based partners with over 4,000 households across 21 townships provide a sobering reminder about the impact of protracted conflict on civilian livelihoods. The findings suggest that 59% of households in rural communities of South East Myanmar are impoverished, with the indicators particularly severe in northern Karen areas where there have been allegations of widespread and systematic human rights abuse. The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar reported to the United Nations General Assembly last month that truth, justice and accountability are integral to the process of securing peace and national reconciliation. Mr Dunford commented that “after all the violence and abuse, inclusive planning processes can help to rebuild trust by ensuring that the voices of those most affected are heard and that civil society representatives are involved at all stages”." (TBC Press Release, 31 October 2012)..... 9 documents: English full report (Zip-PDF: 22.5Mb); Burmese brochure (PDF: 8.25Mb); English brochure (PDF: 0.9Mb); English Exec Summ. (PDF: 270Kb); English-Chapter 1 (PDF: 800Kb); English-Chapter 2 (PDF: 7.9Mb); English-Chapter 3 (PDF: 9.7Mb); English-Chapter 4 (PDF: 5.6Mb); English-Appendices (PDF: 5.9Mb).....
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium - TBC (formerly Thailand Burma Border Consortium - TBBC )
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2012-idp-en-press-release.pdf (press release)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/report-2012-idp-full-en-op-red.pdf (slightly reduced version of the full report)
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


Title: “We Have Seen This Before”: Burma’s Fragile Peace Process
Date of publication: 01 October 2012
Description/subject: "Since President Thein Sein came to power, Burma has been undergoing some limited, yet reversible, democratic reforms. In tandem with these reforms are peace negotiation attempts that started in late 2011 resulting in preliminary ceasefires being signed with most major ethnic non-state armed groups. However, armed clashes continue between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army, as well as with several groups that have signed preliminary ceasefires including the Shan State Army – North, Shan State Army – South, the Karen National Liberation Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army. Due to the lack of political dialogue, little progress has been made in the peace process to date. The process has been one-sided, divisive and has failed to lay solid foundations for sustainable peace. From both civil society and ethnic non-state armed groups, however, the message has been clear: a development agenda cannot be a substitute for a political settlement. This briefing paper looks at the different peace plans put forward by the government and ethnic non-state armed groups, the need for political dialogue, problematic negotiation processes and ceasefire agreements, continuing human rights violations and serious concerns about peace fund initiatives. It also includes recommendations to the Government of Burma, to ethnic non-state armed groups and to the international community"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
Format/size: pdf (171K-OBL version; 757K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmapartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/We-Have-Seen-This-Before-Burmas-Fragile-Peace-Process-Final.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 October 2012


Title: No easy peace for Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 September 2012
Description/subject: "A Norwegian government initiative in support of peace talks between the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups fighting decades-old insurgencies has come under fire. New efforts to overhaul the so-called Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) may or may not allay those concerns, let alone achieve lasting peace in Myanmar's long restive ethnic minority areas. The Norwegian initiative was launched after a visit by then railways minister Aung Min, President Thein Sein's chief negotiator with armed ethnic groups and exiled pro-democracy organizations, to Oslo in January. MPSI has aimed to facilitate talks between the government and armed ethnic organizations through funding for consultations with local communities, needs assessments, and the establishment of liaison offices near conflict zones. MPSI is bidding to address conflicts where ceasefires already exist and a peace process between the government and non-state armed groups has been established. Some of the insurgent groups, such as the New Mon State Party (NMSP), have previously held ceasefires with the government. Others, like the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), have only recently agreed to tentatively stop fighting. A pilot project launched earlier this year with the KNU in Kyauk Kyi township of southern central Pegu Division provides emergency assistance to internally displaced villagers living in surrounding areas. Since then, MPSI has conducted consultations with ethnic-based organizations in Karen, Mon, Shan, Rakhine, and Chin States..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: New Mon State Party, gov’t sign preliminary agreement
Date of publication: 01 February 2012
Description/subject: "The New Mon State Party (NMSP) peace delegation and the Burmese government agreed to a five-point state-level peace program on Wednesday. The New Mon State Party and Burmese government agreed to a five-point peace program on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. The New Mon State Party and Burmese government agreed to a five-point peace program on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Photo: Mizzima The NMSP delegation will submit the five-point preliminary agreement to the NMSP central committee and if it its accepted, Mon officials will sign a cease-fire agreement in the third week of February. The peace talk was held in the Strand Hotel in Mawlamyine in Mon State. The agreement covers a halt to fighting, the formation of peace delegations to conduct national-level peace talks, the selection of liaison offices, an agreement not to travel with weapons except in designated areas, and to stay in agreed upon control areas..."
Author/creator: Nyi Thit
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 February 2012


Title: Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle? Prospects for Ethnic Peace
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * The new cease-fire talks initiated by the Thein Sein government are a significant break with the failed ethnic policies of the past and should be welcomed. However, the legacy of decades of war and oppression has created deep mistrust among different ethnic nationality communities, and ethnic conflict cannot be solved overnight. * A halt to all offensive military operations and human rights abuses against local civilians must be introduced and maintained. * The government has promised ethnic peace talks at the national level, but has yet to provide details on the process or set out a timetable. In order to end the conflict and to achieve true ethnic peace, the current talks must move beyond simply establishing new cease-fires. * It is vital that the process towards ethnic peace and justice is sustained by political dialogue at the national level, and that key ethnic grievances and aspirations are addressed. * There are concerns about economic development in the conflict zones and ethnic borderlands as a follow-up to the peace agreements, as events and models in the past caused damage to the environment and local livelihoods, generating further grievances. Failures from the past must be identified and addressed. * Peace must be understood as an overarching national issue, which concerns citizens of all ethnic groups in the country, including the Burman majority.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 8)
Format/size: pdf (272K - OBL version; 457K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb8.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 February 2012


Title: Burma's Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (Burmese)
Date of publication: 31 January 2012
Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (184K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


Title: Burma’s Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (English)
Date of publication: 31 January 2012
Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Briefing Paper No. 1 January 2012)
Format/size: pdf (558K)
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Safeguarding human rights in a post-ceasefire eastern Burma
Date of publication: 26 January 2012
Description/subject: "The ongoing ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Myanmar and the Karen National Union present an important opportunity for bringing lasting peace and improved human rights conditions to local people in eastern Burma. If the ceasefire can end fighting between the two parties, it should end human rights abuses associated with armed conflict. Human rights abuses, however, do not stem only from armed conflict but also from ingrained abusive practices and lack of accountability for perpetrators. In the absence of armed conflict, abuses related to extracting labour, money and resources from villagers and consolidating state control can be expected to continue or even worsen, particularly where there is a correlative increase in industrial, business or development initiatives undertaken without opportunities for genuine local input. Given these concerns, this commentary concludes by presenting recommendations for using the ceasefire negotiations to define monitoring processes that can offer new options for communities already attempting to protect their human rights. Analysis for this commentary was developed in workshops held with staff at KHRG's administrative office in Thailand and with villagers working with KHRG to document human rights abuses in Mon and Karen states and Bago and Tennaserim divisions"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (58K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c1.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Statement on Initial Agreement between KNU and Burmese Government
Date of publication: 14 January 2012
Description/subject: "• The 19-member KNU delegation held talks with Railways Minister, U Aung Min, and other representatives of the Burmese government on 12-1-2012, in Pa-an. • The KNU delegation reached an initial agreement with the Burmese government's representatives towards a ceasefire agreement. When the delegation returns to our headquarters, the KNU leadership will discuss about subsequent steps required in this dialogue with the Burmese government. • The KNU welcomes the report by its delegation that the Burmese government's representatives agreed, in principle, to the eleven-point proposal, which the KNU presented in the talks. The KNU leadership will take further steps to continue concrete discussions on how the terms and conditions of the proposal will be materialized on the ground, in detail, before both sides can agree on the final ceasefire agreement. • The eleven points of the KNU proposal are:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen National Union
Format/size: pdf (75K)
Date of entry/update: 14 January 2012


Title: KNU and Burma government agree to further talks
Date of publication: 13 January 2012
Description/subject: "Yesterday, a 19-member Karen National Union delegation held talks with Burma government representatives, led by Railways Minister, Aung Min, in Pa-an, Karen State to discuss a ceasefire agreement. A KNU spokesperson confirmed to Karen News what the talks had achieved. “The KNU delegation reached an initial agreement with the Burma government’s representatives towards a ceasefire agreement. When the delegation returns to our headquarters, the KNU will continue to discuss about subsequent steps in this negotiation with the Burmese government.” The KNU spokesperson said the KNU welcomed the Burma delegation’s agreement-in-principle to the 11 key points they presented at the Pa-an talks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 January 2012


Title: Text of the Unofficial Translation of CNF Ceasefire Agreement
Date of publication: 07 January 2012
Description/subject: "07 January 2012: Chinland Guardian is pleased to present the unofficial translation of the preliminary peace agreement between the Chin National Front and the Chin State Government following the two-days peace talks in Hakha this week..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chinland Guardian
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


Title: Breakthrough: CNF Signed Ceasefire Deal with Govt.
Date of publication: 06 January 2012
Description/subject: "06 January 2012: In an historic development, the Chin National Front (CNF) has signed a ceasefire agreement with the new Burmese government at the end of a two-day peace negotiation in Chin State capital Hakha. A source present in the negotiation has confirmed to Chinland Guardian that leaders of both sides of the official delegations have entered their signatures on a document containing the official ceasefire agreement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Chinland Guardian"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


Title: Initial Agreement Towards Peace (RCSS/SSA + RUM)
Date of publication: 07 December 2011
Description/subject: Initial Agreement Towards Peace between RCSS/SSA + RUM [Republic of the Union of Myanma]... (Unofficial translation)... The RCSS/SSA and state level peacemaking bodies agree to observe the following subjects:
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shanland.org
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


Title: Naypyidaw Signs Peace Agreement with SSA-South
Date of publication: 02 December 2011
Description/subject: "The Burmese government on Friday signed a ceasefire agreement at state level with the Shan State Army-South (SSA-South), one of the major ethnic militias in Burma's restive border regions, while its military operations show no sign of abating in Kachin State. According to official sources at the meeting in Taunggyi between representatives of the Shan State administration and the SSA-South, led by Brig-Gen Sai Lu, the agreement included not only a ceasefire, but government assurances of economic development, a joint-task force working against illegal drugs in Shan State, and the opening of liaison offices. Sources say the next step in the truce is to hold a series of negotiations between a Union-level peace committee and the SSA-South..."
Author/creator: Wai Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


Title: MYANMAR: A NEW PEACE INITIATIVE
Date of publication: 30 November 2011
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Myanmar has faced ethnic turmoil and armed conflicts since the early days of its independence. Today this remains probably the single most important issue facing the country. In the last few months, the new government has begun implementing an extraordinary series of social, economic and political reforms and a peace initiative that offers steps no previous government has been willing to take. This has convinced most of the armed groups to agree new ceasefires or enter into peace talks. While serious clashes continue in Kachin State and parts of Shan State, momentum is clearly building behind the government’s initiative. It may offer the best chance in over 60 years for resolving these conflicts. Finding a sustainable end to some of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world would be a historic achievement. But lasting peace is by no means assured. Ethnic minority grievances run deep, and bringing peace will take more than reaching ceasefire agreements with the armed groups. It requires addressing the grievances and aspirations of all minority populations and building trust between communities. The way the country deals with its enormous diversity would need to be fundamentally rethought. This is an issue in which every person in the country has a stake. The international community has an important role to play in support of peace and development in Myanmar. It is crucial first to understand the complexities. No one party to the conflict, including the government, can solve the problem by itself; and pressuring one party to a conflict is never likely to be effective. In particular, resolving once and for all the conflict should not become another benchmark that the government must meet in order to achieve improved relations with the West or have sanctions lifted. With respect to a government that has demonstrated a commitment to major reform and closer ties with the West, there are far better diplomatic tools available to keep a focus on the ethnic conflict. The same is true of the serious human rights abuses associated with that conflict. These will only be ended definitively by reforming the institutional culture of the armed forces, changing key military policies that lead to such abuses, strengthening domestic accountability mechanisms to ensure that the prevailing sense of impunity among soldiers in operational areas is addressed – and by peace. The international community must be ready to move quickly to support emerging peace deals with political and development support. Many of the grievances of ethnic minority communities relate to socio-economic and minority rights, and it is important that there be an immediate dividend for any ceasefires, in order to build the constituency for peace. Supporting socio-economic development, greater regional autonomy and peacebuilding and contributing to greater understanding and trust between communities is vital."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG)
Format/size: pdf (454K - OBL version; 3.17MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/214%20Myanmar%20-%20A%20New%20Peace%20Initiative.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2011


Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
Date of publication: June 2011
Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
Format/size: pdf (407K)
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011


Title: Burma's New Government: Prospects for Governance and Peace in Ethnic States
Date of publication: 29 May 2011
Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * Two months after a new government took over the reins of power in Burma, it is too early to make any definitive assessment of the prospects for improved governance and peace in ethnic areas. Initial signs give some reason for optimism, but the difficulty of overcoming sixty years of conflict and strongly-felt grievances and deep suspicions should not be underestimated... * The economic and geostrategic realities are changing fast, and they will have a fundamental impact – positive and negative – on Burma’s borderlands. But unless ethnic communities are able to have much greater say in the governance of their affairs, and begin to see tangible benefits from the massive development projects in their areas, peace and broadbased development will remain elusive... * The new decentralized governance structures have the potential to make a positive contribution in this regard, but it is unclear if they can evolve into sufficiently powerful and genuinely representative bodies quickly enough to satisfy ethnic * There has been renewed fighting in Shan State, and there are warning signs that more ethnic ceasefires could break down. Negotiations with armed groups and an improved future for long-marginalized ethnic populations is the only way that peace can be achieved.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 6, May 2011
Format/size: pdf (352K - OBL version; 1.1MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb6.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2011


Title: Forget About the Sham Burmese Elections It's the growing risk of ethnic violence the world should worry about.
Date of publication: 05 November 2010
Description/subject: "As the world prepares to label this weekend's elections in Myanmar an undemocratic farce -- which of course they are -- a brewing potential crisis in the country's border regions is being ignored. While cease-fire agreements have tempered the civil wars that have raged for much of Myanmar's 62-year post-independence history, these conflicts have never been fully resolved. Fighting in the northeastern Kokang region in August 2009 forced more than 30,000 refugees to flee across the border to China. Now, the government's aggressive tactics are increasing tensions in a high-stakes game of ethnic politics, one that carries significant potential for violent conflict..."
Author/creator: Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt
Language: English, Español, Spanish
Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/Kleine-ahlbrandt-Forget-About-the-Sham-Burmese-Elections.aspx
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2010


Title: Myanmar ceasefires on a tripwire
Date of publication: 30 April 2010
Description/subject: "Yet another deadline has passed for ethnic ceasefire groups in Myanmar to join the military as part of a new government-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF). With the rainy season approaching and a transition from military to civilian rule underway, opportunities are dwindling for the ruling junta to force the groups to agree before elections are held later this year..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2010


Title: Neither War Nor Peace - The Future of the Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
Date of publication: July 2009
Description/subject: Introduction: "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first ceasefire agreements in Burma, which put a stop to decades of fighting between the military government and a wide range of ethnic armed opposition groups. These groups had taken up arms against the government in search of more autonomy and ethnic rights. The military government has so far failed to address the main grievances and aspirations of the cease-fire groups. The regime now wants them to disarm or become Border Guard Forces. It also wants them to form new political parties which would participate in the controversial 2010 elections. They are unlikely to do so unless some of their basic demands are met. This raises many serious questions about the future of the cease-fires. The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have been almost completely ignored. Ethnic conflict needs to be resolved in order to bring about any lasting political solution. Without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals it is extremely unlikely there will be peace and democracy in Burma. Instead of isolating and demonising the cease-fire groups, all national and international actors concerned with peace and democracy in Burma should actively engage with them, and involve them in discussions about political change in the country. This paper explains how the cease-fire agreements came about, and analyses the goals and strategies of the ceasefire groups. It also discusses the weaknesses the groups face in implementing these goals, and the positive and negative consequences of the cease-fires, including their effect on the economy. The paper then examines the international responses to the cease-fires, and ends with an overview of the future prospects for the agreements"
Author/creator: Tom Kramer
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
Format/size: pdf (1.74MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/TNIceasefires.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


Title: Burma/ Myanmar: Challenges of a Ceasefire Accord in Karen State
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Abstract: "Burma (Myanmar) has seen some of the longest-running insurgencies in the world, which have had a devastating effect on local populations and the country as a whole. While the Karen National Union (KNU), which has fought successive Burmese governments since 1949, is in a critical phase of its life, the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (KPC) is experiencing life under a ceasefire accord with the Burmese government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Major challenges have occurred since the ceasefire and future developments are uncertain. Like all ceasefire groups in the country, the KPC has come under immense pressure to follow the government’s “seven-step road map” to democracy, compete in the 2010 elections, and transform its troops into a border guard force under the control of the Burmese military or face disarmament. This article seeks to provide some insights into a ceasefire group, to analyse the failures and successes of the ceasefire accord, and to outline future challenges to the country.... Keywords: Burma/ Myanmar, Karen, ceasefire groups, ethnic politics.... ISSN: 1868-4882 (online), ISSN: 1868-1034 (print)
Author/creator: Paul Core
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 28, 3, 95-105
Format/size: pdf (174K)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2011


Title: The "Balkanization’ of Burma?" - a review of "Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation, and Coexistence", by Mary P. Callahan, and "Assessing Burma’s Ceasefire Accords",
Date of publication: May 2008
Description/subject: "Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation, and Coexistence", by Mary P. Callahan, Policy Studies 31, East-West Center, Washington, 2007, P 94; "Assessing Burma’s Ceasefire Accords", by Zaw Oo and Win Min, Policy Studies 39, East-West Center, Washington, 2007, P 91.... Two studies draw a landscape of a fragmented country.... "IT has become fashionable to call up the specter of “balkanization” in Burma. The term, which means the fragmentation of large regions into smaller, violently competitive or antagonistic entities, as occurred in the Balkan wars of the late 19th century and in the breakup of Yugoslavia less than 20 years ago, also invokes images of ethnic cleansing and chaos. Anyone with a grasp of history and geography knows that Burma has actually been fragmented for decades. A study of the map, a tally of the ethnic minorities of Burma and neighboring countries, and an understanding of the effects of 60 years of colonialism and of the following six decades of war—all confirm this conclusion. For those not much interested in human development and human rights, things in Burma are in some ways better now than they ever were. As these two academic monographs by notable Burma experts contend, the country now is arguably at its most stable, peaceful, geographically united and developed juncture since 1948. That doesn’t mean things are good, however.... Callahan argues that the process has produced three broad forms of government in border areas. The first of these, devolution, admits that non-state entities (such as warlords and resistance forces) control the area. The second, occupation, entails government forces establishing uncontested control over a patch of territory. The third, coexistence, involves the cooperation of state and non-state authorities (often uneasily) to control an area. This latter arrangement is hardly ideal, but it supports the contention of Zaw Oo and Win Min that a peace of sorts has been reached.
Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Myanmars Waffenstillstände und die Rolle der internationalen Gemeinschaft
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: Ein interessanter Artikel zu dem Zusammenhang von Waffenstillständen, der Nationalversammlung und der Roadmap to Democracy. Weiterhin werde die Interesssen der einzelnen Parteien (ethnsiche Minderheiten, Regierung, internationale Gemeinschaft) dargelegt und Handlungsempfehlungen für die internationale Gemeinschaft abgeleitet; ceasefires, national convention and roadmap to democracy; interests of ethnic minorities, government and international community; recommendations for the international community
Author/creator: Jasmin Lorch; Dr. Paul Pasch
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: FES
Format/size: PDF
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2008


Title: The Politics of Peace
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: The Burmese junta’s failure to honor the spirit and letter of ceasefire agreements could be a roadmap to disaster... "Since seizing power in 1988, Burma’s State Law and Order Restoration Council—now the State Peace and Development Council—has brokered numerous ceasefire agreements with some of the country’s strongest armed ethnic minority groups. These groups have signed on with the regime in the interests of peace and reconciliation, while other groups have resisted the temptation to think that Burma’s ruling junta would ever keep its word. Recent developments suggest that such suspicions are certainly not misplaced. Burma’s ceasefire groups today face an increasingly untenable position. Mixed signals from Rangoon have left them in disarray as the junta makes gestures of peace with one hand and tightens its grip with the other. Government forces have increased their numbers in recent months in Karen, Kachin and Shan states and other ethnic areas. Despite proud claims of bringing peace to much of the country’s war-torn areas, it seems that Rangoon’s War Office has misrepresented the situation. An October 2005 report by the Human Security Centre, titled “Human Security Report: War and Peace in the 21st Century,” ranks Burma at the top of its list of “conflict-prone” countries, ahead of Israel, Iraq and several African nations. The report—three years in the making—covers the years between 1946 and 2003, in which Burma was engaged in 232 armed conflicts..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: Engllish
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Uncertainty Reigns in Shan State
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Conflicting claims, suspicion and arrests create confusion... "Although the Rangoon regime insists that Shan State is stable, one armed opposition group, the Shan State Army (South), continues to hold out against government pressure to disarm. Relations between Shan groups and the regime are also strained because of the arrest in February of several ethnic leaders, including 82-year-old activist Shwe Ohn. Complicating the situation still further in Shan State is the status of the United Wa State Army, which maintains a de facto ceasefire with the regime while allegedly continuing to engage in a drugs trade protected by their own armed forces. The first ceasefire agreements between Shan ethnic groups and the regime were signed in 1989. The original agreements granted the groups business concessions, particularly in logging, and tax collection autonomy. They also allowed the groups to remain armed—but from early this year the regime has been pressing them to disarm under a program dubbed “Exchange Arms for Peace.”..."
Author/creator: Aung Lwin Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Waiting Game
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Junta tightens control in Monland... "As in other ethnic regions of Burma, where ceasefire agreements have been a growing source of frustration and bitterness, Monland in southern Burma has also seen its share of broken promises and the increasing likelihood that lasting peace is still a long way off. The New Mon State Party—the region’s principal ethnic opposition group—entered a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon in 1995, at the urging of the country’s military leadership as well as members of Thailand’s political and business communities, who were eager to increase investments in the region. Foreign oil companies, such as France’s Total and Unocal in the US, saw peace in the region as good for business. Each had proposed a natural gas pipeline through contested areas of Mon State—a fact that caused the regime to exert greater pressure in the interest of increasing vital foreign investment. In 1996, the NMSP received 17 industrial concessions in areas such as logging, fishing, inland transportation, trade agreements with Malaysia and Singapore, and gold mining. The regime, however, had cancelled the majority of these contracts by 1998, leaving NMSP leaders with little in terms of economic support and weakening the opposition party..."
Author/creator: Louis Reh
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Junta serves notice to ceasefire groups
Date of publication: 14 November 2004
Description/subject: "A 13-point demand classified as terms of agreement reached between Rangoon and various armed opposition movements since 1989 had recently been doled out to the ceasefire groups by the Lashio-based Burma Army's Northeastern Region Commander, according to sources coming to the border: The typed demand in Burmese was handed out to their representatives during a series of briefings that took place in the wake of the sudden removal from office of Gen Khin Nyunt on 18 October, said the source who had brought a copy to S.H.A.N. yesterday. "The terms of agreement reached during the peace building period between the government and ethnic armed organizations" reads: ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/politics/2004/Junta_serves_notice_to_ceasefire_groups.htm/
http://www.shanland.org/index.php?view=article&catid=85%3Apolitics&id=1098%3Ajunta-serves-notice-to-ceasefire-groups&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=301
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


Title: Borderline Friends
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "The ethnic Karen rebel leader is considering making peace with his long-time enemy. But rather than ending the conflict, some think Rangoon’s ceasefire overtures are driven by other motives. By Aung Zaw and Shawn L. Nance/Mae Sot, Thailand At age 77 and in poor health, Gen Bo Mya walks rather slowly these days. But for many of his followers, the de facto leader of Burma’s largest ethnic insurgent group is moving too fast. On January 15, the Karen elder statesman led a 21-member delegation to Rangoon to negotiate a truce to end Burma’s longest running ethnic conflict. A week later, Bo Mya returned to his home near the Thai-Burma border with a verbal agreement to halt the fighting. A ceasefire agreement would notch an important publicity victory for the military junta and could finally bring peace to embattled Karen State. But the decision to quit fighting is sowing discord in the Karen National Union, or KNU, particularly among senior military commanders, and many fear the move could lead a split in their ranks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


Title: Brothers-In-Peace
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "Here’s a look at the people who have helped broker ceasefire agreements over the past 15 years between Burma’s ethnic insurgent groups and the military junta, reports Naw Seng...: Reverend Saboi Jum; Khun Myat; La Wawm; Dr Saw Simon Thar; Andrew Mya Han; Saw Mar Gay Gyi; Tun Aung Chein; A Soe Myint; Lo Hsing-han; Sere Hla Pe..."
Author/creator: Naw Seng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


Title: Myanmar: Militärregime geht auf Schmusekurs
Date of publication: 22 January 2004
Description/subject: Rangun hofiert Karen-Kommandeur. Verhandlungen mit Rebellen über Waffenruhe. cease fire talks with karen rebells.
Author/creator: Thomas Berger
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: AG Friedensforschung an der Uni Kassel
Format/size: html (6,3k)
Date of entry/update: 01 March 2005


Title: List of Cease-Fire Agreements With the Junta
Date of publication: 01 January 2004
Description/subject: Lists only dates when the agreements (between various ethnic armies and the Burmese military) were made, not current status...
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma’s Ceasefires: More Trouble Than They’re Worth?
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting." This famous maxim from Sun Tzu’s treatise on military strategy, "The Art of War", is said to be the personal motto of Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Burma’s intelligence chief and third most powerful general. True to this credo, the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has defeated many of its enemies without firing a single shot. The regime won its first ceasefire trophy in 1989, when it reached an agreement with former Communist Party of Burma (CPB) troops based along Burma’s northern border with China. This deal, which followed the fortuitous collapse of the CPB, enabled the regime to mobilize its frontline troops to other areas where insurgencies had raged for decades. Thus the small and ill-equipped ethnic armies of the Karen, Shan, and Mon, among others, came under increased pressure. Gradually, more and more were forced to cut deals of their own, leaving only a dwindling number of diehard groups to continue fighting..." This article has links to related pieces in the same issue.
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: No Peace Dividend for Divided Karenni
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "Rangoon’s "pay for peace" policy has produced numerous ceasefire deals in Karenni State, but the region is more fractious than ever. As Burma’s smallest state, Karenni State has seen more than its fair share of conflict. It has also seen an extraordinary number of ceasefire agreements signed in the past decade—eight since 1994, including three in 1999 alone. But none of this has added up to anything even remotely resembling peace..."
Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Precarious Peace in Monland
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "A seven-year-old ceasefire in Mon State is still holding, but just barely. Recent violence could signal a return to civil war in Burma’s southernmost state. By Tony Broadmoor Villagers should have had nothing to fear when Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 550 from the Burmese Army entered the remote village of Kyon Kwee on Jan 28 of this year. A ceasefire agreement had been in place for seven years, the conflict between the Rangoon government and the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) was supposedly over and the village was theoretically at peace..." Instead, troops arrested, tortured and disrobed a monk and blocked all paths out of the camp before accusing the villagers of being rebel sympathizers. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, as rape, forced labor and food confiscations have all increased, say Mon human rights workers.
Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Shan Struggle Set to Continue
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "With Rangoon refusing to consider a ceasefire, and Bangkok keen to have a buffer against the Wa, Shan rebels seem likely to continue their struggle. At last May’s Shan Resistance Day celebrations held in the mountaintop stronghold of Loi Tai Lang near the Thai border, Shan State Army-South commander Yord Serk pledged to his people: "I promise I’m not going to surrender." Despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered, the Shan State Army (SSA)-South, formerly known as the Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA), remains the only Shan army resisting the Burmese government. The Burmese government has responded with a brutal military campaign to rout the SSA-South by targeting civilians as well as soldiers, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, according to interviews and reports from human rights groups. The SSA-South has adopted an anti-drug policy targeting heroin and amphetamine producers in an effort to gain international support. Despite the SSA-South’s support for a ceasefire with Rangoon, the junta’s troops continue to wage their destructive counter-insurgency campaign..."
Author/creator: John S. Moncreif
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Thais Tired of Paying for Burmese "Peace"
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "Some in Thailand are talking about getting tough with the Wa, Rangoon’s "partners in peace", whose drug-dealing ways have become a bane to Burma’s neighbors.
Author/creator: Don Pathan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The KNU: To Cease Fire, or Not to Cease Fire?
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: "After more than half a century of struggle and nearly a decade of major setbacks, the Karen National Union remains defiant in the face of calls to lay down its arms. By Aung Zaw After 53 years of resistance against Rangoon, the aging leadership of the Karen National Union (KNU) is nothing if not defiant. Arguably weaker now than at any other point in its half-century-long struggle, the KNU and its military wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), have faced numerous setbacks in the past decade. But asked about the prospects of the KNU entering the dubious embrace of Rangoon’s "legal fold", Padoh Mahn Sha, the KNU’s general secretary, did not mince words: "Surrender is out of the question," he told The Irrawaddy recently..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Resignation Rumors Fuel Ceasefire Concerns
Date of publication: June 2000
Description/subject: Rumors that Sr Gen Than Shwe may soon step down as head of Burma's ruling junta have raised questions about the possible implications for a number of shaky ceasefire agreements with ethnic insurgent groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No .6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Fireworks of Peace
Date of publication: October 1999
Description/subject: The military's attempts at ethnic reconciliation have been all show and no substance, writes Thar Nyunt Oo
Author/creator: Thar Nyunt Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #94, Feb 23
Date of publication: 23 February 1994
Description/subject: "...There has been a lot of attention given to the Karen National Union's recent statement that they are willing to hold talks with SLORC on their own. Despite the fact that the SLORC continues to refuse the most basic requirements to make these talks a reality, such as a neutral venue with foreign observers, many people worldwide are assuming that the talks will occur regardless, and that the SLORC has suddenly miraculously transformed into a responsible entity that wants peace and development. Many people also assume that with "peace talks" in the works, the SLORC must have stopped its human rights abuses. After all, that's what any sane regime would do. But not the SLORC. And those who are inclined to think otherwise should remember the saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it." Anyone who believes that the SLORC's recent "peace" initiatives are sincere should remember past SLORC promises, like free and fair elections, a speedy transfer of power, the complete end of offensive action against the ethnic peoples, and the promises to abide by the Geneva Conventions and the International Declaration on Rights of the Child, among other signed documents now lying tattered, torn and ignored in Rangoon. The current approach some are taking, of increasingly trying to appease and befriend the SLORC because although it is illegitimate, it definitely appears to be entrenched, bears frightening similarity to the appeasement and befriending of Hitler by European nations during the 1930's. Like the SLORC, Hitler signed countless declarations of peace and was always full of talk about "peaceful solutions", and the European countries continued to accept these while ignoring his actions on the ground at a time when they could have stopped him. We all know the price they paid. This is not to say that the SLORC is about to invade the rest of Asia; but there is always a price to be paid for appeasing a gang of thugs, be they Nazis or Burmese Generals. Sadly, it is the innocent people of Burma who pay the heaviest price, now and in the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG )
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


Title: HISTORISCHE ENTWICKLUNG DER ETHNISCHEN KONFLIKTE IN MYANMAR / BURMA
Description/subject: Vor der Ankunft der britischen Kolonialmacht waren die burmanischen Königreiche zwar die dominierende politische Kraft, ihre Herrschaft über die Minderheiten blieb aber beschränkt. Zu keinem Zeitpunkt in der vorkolonialen Geschichte bemühten sich die Monarchen darum, die Minderheiten unter Zwang zu assimilieren. Politisch relevant wurde die ethnische Zugehörigkeit erst unter der britischen Kolonialherrschaft, als das Land in das direkt verwaltete Burma proper (Burma an sich) und in die indirekt verwalteten frontier areas (Grenzgebiete), das vornehmliche Siedlungsgebiet der Minderheiten, geteilt wurde. Karen (KNU); Panglong-Abkommen; Waffenstillstandsabkommen; History of ethnic conflicts in Burma; Karen (KNU); Panglong-Agreement; Ceasefire Agreements;
Author/creator: Heike Löschmann
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
Format/size: html (25k)
Date of entry/update: 19 October 2007


Title: Talks between Burmese Military Government and the Karen National Union
Description/subject: Four rounds of talks in 1995 and 1996. Date, place, negotiators
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003