The Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), third largest winning in the November elections, submitted a petition to the lower house speaker on 31 July calling for peace talks and cessation of human rights abuses, according to the party leadership.
“The gist of the letter is that we had been fighting for more than 60 years with no sign of either side giving up,” said Sai Tin, Central Executive Committee member and Laikha township MP for People’s Assembly. “It’s high time we all sat at the negotiating table for sensible consultation.”
The letter also contains a list of human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Burma Army during its 4 month campaign against the Shan State Army (SSA)
Copies of the petition were forwarded to the President, two Vice Presidents, union ministries concerned and to the chief ministers of states, according to Sai Tin.
The announcement by the SNDP coincided with the joint statement released yesterday by Karen, Mon, Chin, Arakan and Shan parties, calling for:
- Nationwide ceasefire
- The setting up of a peace making commission
- Assistance to the war victims, together with permission for the ethnic parties to give assistance
The 5 parties expect their call will be a topic to be discussed at the upcoming parliamentary sessions that will begin on 22 August.
Naypyitaw is currently holding peace talks with the Kachin Independence Army and pulling out its troops from areas surrounding Wanhai, the Shan State Army (SSA)’s headquarters, in Kehsi township.