Kachin people prepare for second session of 21st Century Panglong Conference

The Kachin Political Cooperation Committee (KPCC) held a two-day national-level political dialogue for ethnic groups in the Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina to prepare for the second session of the Union Peace Conference (21st Century Panglong Conference).

Over 200 representatives of Kachin civil-based organisations participated in the National-Level Political Dialogue (Preliminary) held at Majoi Gawknu of Shatapru Manau Ground from 25 to 26 January.

However, the KPCC was not allowed to hold the meeting officially so it was only held as a ‘preliminary’ meeting because the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) has not signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement yet.

Dr Manam Tu Ja from the KPCC explained that it was better to hold the preliminary national-level peace dialogue rather than not holding any meeting.

“We want to hold it officially, but the KIO/KIA has not signed the NCA yet so it is not allowed to be held officially in the Kachin State. We can only hold a preliminary one so we don’t feel satisfied. Nevertheless, we, the KPCC, have decided to arrange it even if it’s not an official meeting. It’s led by the KPCC to listen to the public voice,” said Dr Manam Tu Ja, who is also chairman of the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP).

A draft version of the Kachin State Constitution compiled by the KPCC was revealed to the representatives of respective Kachin civil-based organisations at the two-day meeting and their opinion was heard.

The state constitution draft will be submitted to the second session of the 21st Century Panglong Conference, which will be held next month. The representatives for the conference were also selected at the meeting.

The KPCC comprises the Kachin Democratic Party (KDP), the Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP), the Lhaovo National Unity and Developmement Party (LNUDP), and the Kachin National Congress (KNC).

The KPCC plans to hold a ‘Kachin Conference’ with Shawng lam Mungmasa Jasat Hpung (SMJH), an advisory group for peace and politics established by the KIO, before the second session of the 21st Century Panglong Conference is held.

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