Representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) met with political parties and internally displaced persons (IDPs) during a roundtable in Myitkyina to share information and their views on peace matters.
The one-day event, which took place at the CARTEL Hotel, in the Kachin State capital, was jointly organized by Kachin News Group (KNG) and Burma News International (BNI), of which KNG is a member.
During the roundtable, participants discussed the conflict, a ceasefire, the return of IDPs, and social issues in the IDP camps. Other items brought to the table included natural resource extraction, foreign investment, and the 2020 general election.
“When we look at the peace process, there’s a gap between IDPs, stakeholders, and CSOs on the ground working on peace-related issues,” said Ko Kyaw Htet Aung, who’s the coordinator for Myanmar Peace Monitor. He said it was very important for these organizations to “exchange information.”
Sumlut Lu San, a deputy in charge of Ziun (or Zion) IDP camp, told KNG they fled their homes because they “were in danger” and don’t want to have to run again. Despite this, preparations are underway for an IDP resettlement program “even though there’s no peace in our area.” If there’s peace, she said, they want to return home. “But there are still landmines and there are army camps.” With no security assurances, Sumlut Lu San said they’re concerned about returning.
Twenty representatives from different groups attended the round table this Wednesday (August 26).
BNI is an alliance of 16 ethnic media outlets. Myanmar Peace Monitor, which was started by BNI, is a research group focused on the peace process in Burma.