Ethnic Groups Determined to Strengthen Unity towards Federal Union of Burma
19 February 2011: A group of 51 representatives from Burma’s ethnic groups came to a historical agreement at a meeting held along the Thai-Burma border from 12 to 16 February 2011, unanimously forming an umbrella alliance called ‘United Nationalities Federal Council (Union of Burma)’.
The four-day meeting attended by delegates from a total of 15 ethnic armed, ceasefire and political groups agreed in unity to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in their struggle for a genuine democratic federal Union of Burma against the ruling military regime.
A member of the newly formed UNFC, Colonel Solomon of Chin National Front (CNF) told Chinland Guardian: “Amidst our differences and diversities over the past five or six decades, we have managed to establish an alliance through creating a common platform on which we all can come together and share as a family. We all agree to work together towards bringing democracy and federalism of government into Burma.”
Khun Okkar, Joint Secretary-1 of the Council, was quoted as saying that both armed and ceasefire groups are all uniting as one ethinic family, trying to find ways of solving the political problems through political means, while carrying out resistance together.
In a statement issued last Thursday, the UNFC said as parts of its basic principles and aims that it will work for a better recognition of the ethnic armed groups, for ethnic equality, rights and self-determination, and for a genuine democratic federal Union of Burma.
It is believed that the recent meeting came as a resutl of the first two conferences among Burma’s ethnic armed groups held in November 2010 and January 2011 respectively along the Thai-Burma border where the Committee for the Emergency of a Federal Union (CEFU) was formed during the first meeting.
Burma has an estimated total of 135 different ethnic nationalities, with more than 20 armed groups fighting against the military regime for many decades.
Van Biak Thang