14 February 2018
The union government and New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union on Tuesday signed a nationwide ceasefire agreement, which was witnessed by representatives from the European Union, the United Nations and diplomats.
In the presence of President U Htin Kyaw, the agreement was signed by the state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vice President U Myint Swe, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw U Win Myint, Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw Mann Win Khine Than, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services vice Senior General Soe Win, chairman of peace commission Dr. Tin Myo Win, vice chairman of National Reconciliation and Peace Center, union minister U Kyaw Tin, Chairman of New Mon State Party, Naing Htaw Mon and chairman of Lahu Democratic Party Kya Khun Sar.
Before the signing, the chairperson of the national reconciliation and peace center, state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a speech. In her speech, the state counsellor warmly welcomes the two new signatories saying I solemnly wish to honor and warmly welcome the new Mon State Party and the Lahu Democratic Union who have bravely taken this step. And she also stressed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the Peace Process highlighting the fact that NCA is not the end of the Peace Process. NCA is the beginning of the Peace Process, the beginning of the political dialogues, the beginning of reduction of armed conflicts; it is the beginning of the political process that will result from the resolution of political problems through negotiations, discussions and the joint search for solutions.
Next, the commander in chief of defense services, senior general Min Aung Hlaing also delivered an address. The commander in chief clarified in his address that some ethnic armed organizations have misperception that NCA is a tool for the laying arms down of the ethnic armed groups. That's not true and should be removed it from the mind. NCA is the way to find the solution for the armed conflicts lasted over 70 years through the political dialogue. The responsibility of Tatmataw is to defend the sovereignty of the country and protect the life and property of the citizens. So, the Tatmataw will remove those who destruct the life and property of the citizens. Such a time that the country is under the multidimensional threats of outside elements, the unity and cooperation of all national brethren is essential.
Later, Chairman of New Mon State Party, Naing Htaw Mon delivered a speech representing New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Party. In his speech, the chairman described his view on the NCA saying "When it comes to peace, generally, peace is approached with three perspectives such as ceasefire, development of the areas of national races and political solution. In fact, these three perspectives are interrelated. But, we approach the peace from the two fronts: cease of armed conflicts and equality and building of federal union which guarantee the right of self-determination."
Afterwards, chairman of Peace Commission, Dr. Tin Myo Win and general-secretary of New Mon State Party, Naing Aung Min read out the excerpts from the agreement.
Next, the members of The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) and Peace Commission, Joint Monitoring Committee at Union Level (JMC-U), state ministers for Mon, Lahu and Shan ethnic affairs signed as the domestic witnesses of NCA.
Under secretary of United Nations, Special Envoy for Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, representative of Japan government, Deputy National Security Adviser of India, deputy minister for foreign affairs of the kingdom of Thailand, ambassador of European Union to Myanmar signed as the international witnesses of NCA.
Then, Chairman of peace commission Dr. Tin Myo Win and general secretary Naing Aung Min exchanged the signed agreements.
After the completion of NCA signing ceremony, the heads of state, leaders of NCA signatories and ethnic armed groups posed for the documentary photo.