Myanmar, militias ink peace pact with India as witness

Myanmar, militias ink peace pact with India as witness

The agreement of two more ethnic groups to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) is a milestone for the government after taking office almost two years ago as State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi seeks to revive the stalled peace process to end decades-long civil wars.

The presence of India's representative at the signing ceremony "demonstrates India's continued support to the peace process in Myanmar", the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday the government can claim a symbolic victory after the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) ink the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Naypyidaw, joining eight other militias who had signed onto the pact before Suu Kyi took office.

"The presence of our representative demonstrates India's continued support to the peace process in Myanmar".

The peace process, which has been eclipsed in media coverage by the plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh from violence in the northwest, is key to unlocking the resource-rich country's potential and guaranteeing development for its more than 50 million people.

The two fresh signatories will join the upcoming third meeting of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference.


Representatives of India, China, Japan, Thailand, United Nations and European Union were global witnesses on the occasion.

Kumar said given the "positive" bilateral ties and significance for India of Myanmars peace process, the neighbouring country had earlier invited New Delhi together with China, Japan, Thailand, UN and European Union to sign the NCA as worldwide witnesses in October 2015.

"Todays event is another step in the process with two more parties, the NMSP and the LDU, agreeing to sign the NCA".

Suu Kyi has been seeking to revive the peace process to end a decade-long conflict between armed rebels seeking secession and government and military.

India believes that numerous separatist groups operating in its northeast with demands ranging from more autonomy to secession have links with others operating in the region.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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