Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


October 1, 2015

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Agents of Burma's military dictatorship have published a great amount of propaganda about the country's nationwide ceasefire negotiation. Many incompetent journalists have also repeated the propaganda. Because of this, there is a pressing need for accurate information, so both the people of Burma and the International Community can understand what is really happening.

Following the Ethnic Armed Organization meeting earlier this week, it was publicized that seven groups will sign the draft agreement, ten groups will not, and two are as yet undecided. This information, however, is both incorrect and superficial.

The groups that have said they will sign are the KNU-KNLA PC, DKBA, KNU, ALP, CNF, PNLO, and ABSDF. Considering these in turn:

The KNU-KNLA PC and the DKBA don't count. They are long-term allies of the dictatorship. The NCA is between the resistance organizations and the regime. Those are the two sides of Burma's Civil War. The PC and the DKBA are not resistance organizations. Therefore, they have no place in the ceasefire. They will do whatever the Burma Army generals tell them to do. They were only added by the ceasefire promoters, starting with Europe through Euro-Burma Office and Myanmar Peace Center, to give more signatures in support of the regime's position.

The KNU has seven armed brigades. Brigades 2, 3 and 5 do not agree with Chairman Mutu Say Poe's decision to sign, nor do many of the rank and file soldiers of the other brigades. Neither, for that matter, does the allied Karen civil defense organization, the KNDO. The KNU is split, and it remains to be seen what will happen with the organization if Mutu does actually sign.

ALP has 30 soldiers in the KNU's 7th Brigade area, and 100-200 in Arakan State. It is signing to maintain the patronage of Mutu.

CNF has 150-200 soldiers in Chin State, but it enjoys little public support. It is signing because it is under the influence of EBO.

PNLO has approximately 100 soldiers. As with the KNU, its leaders are signing to get development assistance from Europe and Japan. In effect, Europe and Japan have bribed the PNLO, and the other groups, to sign.

ABSDF has at most 100 soldiers in KNU areas and 200-300 in the north with the KIO. The southern faction is signing because it needs Mutu's patronage. However, the northern unit will continue to resist.

In summary, the seven groups for the NCA are really five, and of these only one is large, and it is split, and three of the others are under its influence and with one of them also split.

The groups that will not sign include the ANC, LDU, SSPP, WNO, MNDAA, AA, KIO, KNPP, NMSP, PSLF/TNLA, as well as the UWSA and NSCN-K. The NDAA will also not sign (it is not undecided), and it is believed that due to recent Burma Army attacks the RCSS will not sign, either. Lastly, you can add to these dissenters ABSDF-North, the KNLA brigades and soldiers that oppose Mutu, and KNDO. This totals seventeen different groups. The real position of the EAOs on the NCA is therefore seventeen against and five for.

This means that any signing by the five in the coming weeks will be useless. It will be a failure for the regime and a fraud - not a real nationwide ceasefire at all. Any "political dialogue" in which the five participate will be pointless as well.

The entire NCA negotiation has been paid for by Europe (mainly through EBO) and Japan. Their motivation has been clear: to force a peace so that large-scale development can begin. The regime hasn't contributed anything.

Europe and Japan, though, have said that they will not keep giving money unless a deal is reached. This is the only way they will fund the dialogue phase as well. This is why the regime, EBO and MPC are desperate, and why they will have a ludicrous signing with only Mutu and a couple of small groups and then try to call it "nationwide," to keep the foreign money flowing. Europe and Japan should note: You wasted your money!!! Stop funding and therefore supporting the dictatorship. The people, certainly the ethnic nationality people, won't forget this. Pull back and like everyone else wait and see what happens with the election: How the dictatorship manages to rig the vote in favor of the USDP, or just says to hell with it and launches a coup.