Holding state and union level meetings both in a single day on Saturday, 28 January, in Shan State capital Taunggyi, the two sides had successfully signed two agreements by the end of the day, according to Maj Sai La, SSA North spokesman.
The first 5 point agreement (State level) includes:
- For the Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army, the SSA North’s official name, members and families to be resettled around Wanhai, the SSA North’s main base
- To set up liaison offices in Taunggyi, Lashio and Kholam
- To notify each other in advance in conducting movements with arms outside one’s area
- To fix venues and time acceptable to both sides to hold union level meeting
It was signed by Col Aung Thu, Minister for Security and Border Affairs, and 4 others for the Shan State Government, and Col Khun Hseng and 4 others for the SSPP/SSA.
The Union level meeting which was held in the afternoon resulted in another 5 point agreement:
- The two sides agree to ratify the state level agreement reached earlier
- The two sides will work together to uphold the Three Causes i.e. Non-disintegration of the Union, Non-disintegration of National Unity and Perpetuation of National sovereignty on the basis of Panglong Spirit
- The two sides will work together in accordance with law for local development, resettlement, and improvement of people’s livelihood
- The two sides will cooperate in the fight against narcotic drugs
- The two sides will work together to achieve lasting peace
It was signed by U Aung Thaung for the Union and Sao Kherh Tai for the SSPP/SSA.
Speaking on the occasion, Sai La told SHAN, with regards to political issues, it would be impossible for the SSA North alone to negotiate with Naypyitaw. “All groups and all those concerned in Shan State must participate,” he said. “For this purpose, we have already asked Hkun Tun Oo (who was released on 13 January) to take the leading role.”
Hkun Tun Oo, 68, leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), is known to be respected by all Shan movements and other ethnic nationalities.
The SSA North delegation arrived in the State capital under heavy armed escort on Thursday, surprising both visitors and locals. They are due to depart for their Wanhai base in Kehsi township today.
The SSA North is the 7th armed movement that has signed a temporary ceasefire agreement with Naypyitaw. The remaining targeted groups are reported to be Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Karenni National Progress Party (KNPP) and New Mon State Party (NMSP).