Thursday, Jun 22nd

LATEST:
You are here: International International Myanmar signs ceasefire with eight armed groups

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Myanmar signs ceasefire with eight armed groups

myanmarNAYPYITAW--Myanmar's government and eight armed ethnic groups signed a ceasefire agreement on Thursday, the culmination of more than two years of negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the majority of the country's long-running conflicts.
  The deal fell short of its nationwide billing, with seven of the 15 armed groups invited declining to sign due to disagreements over who the process should include and ongoing distrust of Myanmar's semi-civilian government and its still-powerful military.
  President Thein Sein, a former general, made the nationwide ceasefire a key platform for his reformist agenda after taking power in 2011 and ending nearly 50 years of military rule. While the absentees were a blow to the president, who pushed for the deal to be signed ahead of a Nov. 8 general election, he described the deal on Thursday as historic.
  "The nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) is a historic gift from us to our generations of the future," Thein Sein said at a signing ceremony attended by hundreds of diplomats, officials and rebel group representatives in the country's capital. "This is our heritage. The road to future peace in Myanmar is now open."
  Thein Sein said he would continue with efforts to convince other groups to join the ceasefire later.
  Among those that signed was the Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar's oldest armed group. The KNU has fought one of the world's longest-running conflicts with the Myanmar military spanning nearly 70 years.
  "The NCA is a new page in history and a product of brave and energetic negotiations," Saw Mutu Say Poe, the chairman of the KNU, said at the ceremony.
  U.S. President Barack Obama, who has portrayed his country's backing of Myanmar's reforms as a foreign policy success, has pushed Thein Sein to conclude the ceasefire as part of wider changes to protect minorities. "The United States commends all sides for their ongoing efforts to bring an end to the longest-running civil conflict in the world," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement on Thursday.
  The U.S. remained concerned about reports of continued military offensives in the Kachin and Shan states and lack of humanitarian access to 100,000 displaced people in those areas, he said.
  Later on Thursday, Kirby called for the immediate release of two activists arrested, reportedly in response to posts on Facebook. He said the use of a 2013 law on telecommunications to charge Kachin peace activist Patrick Kum Jaa Lee and another on electronic transactions to charge Chaw Sandi Tun "directly contradicts democratic principles and the government's own stated commitment to promote political reform and respect human rights."
  Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi did not attend the ceasefire ceremony.
  The United Wa State Army, believed to be the largest and best equipped of the country's armed ethnic groups, has remained largely on the sidelines of the peace process since its beginning and did not sign. Also missing is the Kachin Independence Organization, which controls vast areas of Kachin State, in Myanmar's northeast. The group's armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army, has clashed regularly with the Myanmar military since 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire between the two broke down.
  An official from the government-linked Myanmar Peace Center told Reuters the two groups, which operate on the Myanmar-China border, had come under pressure from China not to sign. China has denied these allegations. China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Beijing "welcomes and supports" Myanmar's political progress.
  All of the groups signing were removed this week by the government from its list of Unlawful Associations. The colonial-era law was used to prosecute people who had contact with the groups. The removals could be a crucial step to the groups joining the political mainstream.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...