The military proxy Burmese government announced its rejection of peace talks based on the principles of the 1947 Panglong Treaty to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) on the weekend, said KIO officials.
The five-month old government stated clearly that it will only agree to peace talks with the KIO based upon the 2008 constitution, KIO officials in Laiza said.
The KIO replied to the government on Monday that it cannot talk based on the 2008 constitution because it has not been recognized by the KIO, according to KIO officials in Laiza.
A ceasefire which lasted more than 16 years between the two sides ended on June 9th when government troops attacked the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) at Sang Gang, in Bhamo District, arguing it was protecting the Taping (Dapein) Dam.
There were no political talks during the long ceasefire period, however, the KIO and other ethnic ceasefire groups were pressured to transform their armed wings into the Burma Army-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF) or militia groups, after the military constitution was put in place.
Lar Nan, Joint-General Secretary-2 of the KIO, said it will not talk any more with the government separately because that failed in the past. Now, it will talk through the ethnic armed and political alliance, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), based on the spirit of the Panglong Agreement.
The Union of Burma, which comprised different ethnic states, was formed in accordance with the historic Panglong Agreement, signed by ethnic Burman, Kachin, Chin and Shan leaders.
The agreement brought about the country’s independence from the British in 1948. However, the country’s power has been controlled by ethnic Burmans until now.
Successive governments rejected the political dialogue with ethnic armed groups, which demand self-determination and a genuine federal union, for over six decades.
The government offered to participate in peace talks with ethnic armed groups on August 18. That peace offer was rejected by the KIO, the leader of UNFC, because the government wants to negotiate with each group separately without considering the Panglong Agreement.