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Can Burma improve bilateral trust for truce?

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President of Burma U Thein Sein met the members of KNU led by Saw Mutu Sae Phoe, chairman of KNU, and Pado Mahn Nyein Maung, a KNU central executive committee in exchange of their views on the peace-making processes on 3 June in Naypyitaw, the state-run newspapers said.

The president said, that "Stability, tranquility and development of socio-economic lives are the expectations of people. As KNU is actively participating in these processes, the government appreciates your efforts."

He also said that skepticism which has undermined the unity of the country for some decades must be rooted out gradually with patience, tolerance and forgiveness.

The KNU leaders discussed the development of signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement and preparations that should be made before the agreement. The ethnic armed group also said that KNU fully accepts the internal peace-making processes which were mentioned in the president's speech on 31 May.

According to Padoh Mah Nyein Maung, the KNU delegation held meeting with President U Thein Sein and then met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. He told the media that it was the KNU's fifth summit with President U Thein Sein and the sixth with the Senior General.

However, Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung, a Central Executive Committee member of the Karen National Union said that lasting and genuine peace could only be reached when there is mutual respect between the government, ethnic groups and citizens, according to the Karen News (KIC).

He made the speech while attending a peace building process consultation meeting held in Maubin in Irrawaddy Division on 27th May organized by the Karen Culture and Literacy Committee of Maubin Township.

"Genuine peace can be achieved only by the collaboration of government, ethnic armed organizations and civilians. We can only proceed through mutual respect. Peace building won't be successful by engaging with each other to make use of the opportunity or by oppressive means," Mahn Nyein Maung said at the event.

The KNU delegation also met with Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann, as said by the state-run media. According to Pado Mann Nyein Maung, the country seriously needs signing of a ceasefire agreement in order to establish a genuine peace.

"An urgent recognition of true armistice is needed in this country," he said.

In mid-May, the KNU's vice chairperson, Naw Zipporah Sein, travelled to the Irrawaddy Delta and to Rangoon to pay attention to people's thoughts and feelings concerning the ongoing peace process that needs to be inclusive, in keeping with her words.

"The peace we want is for all the people in the country, not for KNU only," Naw Zipporah Sein told a crowd during her delta visit.

On 9 May, Naw Zipporah Sein had a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi discussing the current peace process at her lakeside residence in Rangoon. The KNU's vice chairperson spoke to Karen News about the meeting.

"Our meeting with Daw Suu was informal, but it is important everyone taking part in different aspects of the ongoing peace process, so we can achieve a genuine peace and equal rights. We shared our opinions with Daw Suu regarding the challenges we have in the peace process," she said.

Naw Zipporah and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held a joint press conference after their meeting in front of Suu Kyi's residence.

"The NLD seeks to create an indisputable democratic federal union and to make this happen; we believe that it requires the united inclusiveness of all ethnic groups. If we can continue to meet like this we can exchange our views, we can know more from each other, it can be supportive for the national reconciliation," Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to a gathering of journalists.

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Zin Linn was born on February 9, 1946 in a small town in Mandalay Division. He began writing poems in 1960 and received a B.A (Philosophy) in 1976. He became an activist in the High School Union after the students' massacre on 7th July 1962. (more...)

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