Unofficial Translation of CNF-Govt Agreements at Union-Level Peace Talks
10 December 2012: The Chinland Guardian is pleased to present an unofficial translation of the original document containing agreements between the Chin National Front (CNF) and Peace Committee of Burma’s government during their three-day Union-level peace talks held in Rangoon on 7-9 December 2012.
Agreement between the Chin National Front and Union-level Peace Working Committee at the 2nd round of Peace Talks
In order to end more than sixty years of armed conflict and to establish a lasting peace in the Union of Burma, the Chin National Front and the Union Peace Working Committee have agreed to cooperate together in working towards the following three-point peace process:
- Ending all armed and other hostilities
- Holding a Union-level political dialogue
- Working towards an agreement for ‘Union Accord’ between the Union government and all ethnic nationalities through a national conference based on the Spirit of Panglong
The 9-point ceasefire agreement between the Chin National Front Peace Negotiating Team and the Chin State Government on 6 January 2012 in Hakha, Chin State and the 15-point Union level ceasefire agreement signed by the Chin National Front and the Chin State Government on 7 May 2012 in Chin State, witnessed by the Chin Peace and Tranquility committee, respectively are hereby reaffirmed.
As contained in paragraph 4 of the May 7 2012 agreement between the Chin National Front and the Union-level Peace Negotiating Team, the three main national causes of Non-disintegration of Union, Non-disintegration of National Solidarity and Perpetuation of Sovereignty, and principles guaranteeing democracy, ethnic equality and self-determination are reaffirmed as the basis for the second and third steps in the peace process towards building a genuine Union.
To establish a lasting peace in the Union based on the universal principles of freedom, equality, and justice, the Chin National Front and the Union Peace Working Committee signed this agreement on 9 December 2012 having been witnessed by the Chin Peace and Tranquility Committee, Union-level Peace Facilitating Committee and observers.
Agreement Concerning Chin National Issue
01) The Union of Burma is a Union founded in accordance with the Panglong Agreement of February 12 1947 by the territories formerly governed under the 1896 Chin Hills Regulation, Kachin Hill Tribes Regulation, the Federated Shan States and the Government of Burma Act of 1935. Burma being founded by multi-ethnic groups, the parties agreed to negotiate towards re-establishing a genuine Union guaranteeing equality and self-determination consistent with the original intent at the Panglong Conference between General Aung San and the ethnic nationalities.
02) It is agreed that the Government of Chin State shall take forward actions to re-recognize the 20th of February as Chin National Day as a public holiday in Chin State in recognition of the occasion as a day cherished by the Chin people.
03) It is agreed that the Government of Chin State shall take forward actions to designate the 3rd of January as Chin State Day in recognition of the day the Chin Special Division was turned into Chin State.
Agreement Concerning National Reconciliation, Human Rights and the Environment
04) It is agreed that no reprisals be made against anyone for being involved in any and all activities related to engagement between the Chin National Front and the public during the period of the cease-fire agreement, invoking either the political party registration act or the Unlawful Association Act effective the date of signing the agreement between the Chin National Front and the Union Government on 6 January 2012. This provision, however, shall not apply to infringement of other legal provisions and violations of the Criminal Code.
05) Upon consultation between the Chin State Government and the Chin National Front, it is agreed to form an independent Chin human rights committee. Such a committee will report to the National Human Rights Commission, Chin State Government and the Chin National Front. The reporting shall have its basis on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international human rights and humanitarian laws.
06) Environmental impacts assessments shall be conducted in regards to all development projects in Chin State. To facilitate such a process, it is agreed that an independent committee shall be formed made up of independent experts. It is agreed that in extracting natural resources from above and underground within Chin State, the principles of Free Prior and Informed Consent shall be observed in accordance with the desire of the Chin people.
07. With the view of building sustainable peace in the Union of Burma, it is agreed to further discuss matters regarding military code of conducts involving the Burma Army and other ethnic armed groups at a Union-level political dialogue that involves all ethnic nationalities in Burma.
8. (a) It is agreed that the Union Peace Working Committee shall within one month [of this agreement] inform in writing regarding the possibility of allowing members of the Chin National Front and Chin National Army establishing their base at Thantlang Township’s Vanzang, Lungding, Belhar, Lulpilung Village Tracts, as well as Tedim Township’s Dampi Village Tract.
(b) It is agreed to take forward the matters regarding the remaining Village Tracts that have been submitted during the second Union-level talks for consideration during the third Union-level talks.
(c) It is agreed to have the presence of only the Burma Army and the Chin National Army within the Chin State.
09. It is agreed that in the event that members of the Chin National Army would like to patrol or make troop rotation or to travel outside of their designated territories while bearing arms, shall do so only by pre-informing and obtaining mutual agreement with the nearest Burma Army outpost or Battalion, or the local Tactical Commander.
10. If the Chin National Front would like to conduct military exercise within the parameters of territories legally designated for them, they can only do so by obtaining prior agreement with the government.
11. It is agreed that the Chin people living within the areas designated for both the Chin National Front and the Chin National Army shall enjoy the benefit of receiving direct aid from Non Governmental Organizations and the international community for their development, with the permission of the Union Government.
Agreements Concerning Development
12. Both the Union Government and the Government of Chin State shall make every effort to assist the Chin National Front in its endeavors towards the development of Chin State. To this end, it is agreed that the Chin National Front has the power to establish a committee or organization to carry out development works in cooperation with domestic and International Non-Governmental Organizations.
13. In order for the committee or organization referred to in point 12 to carry out its tasks, it is agreed that such a body shall have the following functions:
(a) The Chin State Government and Chin National Front shall have the power, through consultation, to determine the terms of reference for the implementation of a system in which locals determine their own development priorities
(b) The findings of hired competent international experts shall be presented to the Chin National Front, the Union Government and the Chin State Government before June 2003. (Translator’s Note: Not unclear because of the original Burmese texts at the beginning of the sentence)
(c) The Union Government shall facilitate visas to enable such international experts to freely travel in and out of the country.
14. It is agreed that the Chin National Front, the Union Government and the Chin State Government shall cooperate for the establishment of a Community Radio broadcast program for each Chin dialectal group with the view of facilitating better interactions amongst the Chins, as well as, promoting Chin media.
15. The Chin National Front, the Union and State Governments shall cooperatively work together to promote information technology and computer skills in Chin State.
16. The Chin National Front, the Union and State Governments shall cooperatively work together to establish a Special Economic Zone within Chin State.
17. In order to facilitate easier communication access within Chin State the Union Government shall construct at least one airport in an appropriate location after conducting a field assessment.
18. It is agreed to further develop a national highway that connects all the towns in Chin State: spanning from Tonzang Township in the north to Paletwa Township in the south.
19. The Chin National Front, the Union and State Governments shall cooperatively work together in ensuring that the Chin public receive basic services such as water and electricity; food security, health and education.
20. With the view of promoting tourism in the region, the Union Government shall make it possible for international tourists to freely travel in and out of Chin State.
Agreements on Social and Cultural Matters
21. It is agreed that the Union Government will take forward matters regarding the implementation of the teaching and learning of Chin language at the primary education level in schools in Chin State.
22. It is agreed to open “Chin cultural and traditional music schools” in appropriate places in Chin State with the view of exchanging, preserving and promoting the Chin culture and traditions cherished by the Chin people.
23. With the view of ensuring religious freedom within Burma, the Union Government, the Chin State Government and the Chin National Front shall work together towards the full achievement of freedom of religion or belief; including freedom of writing and printing religious texts, the right to own land for religious purposes for both Christians and other religions; the right to freely construct churches and other religious buildings, the right to freely work and communicate with international organizations, the right to freely proselytize and of freedom of movement and to freely engage in humanitarian works.
24. It is agreed that in the appointment or promotion in civil service position there shall be no discrimination on the basis ethnicity, religion or gender.
25. The parties agreed to issue licenses for registration and production of newspapers, journals, magazines, newsletters, radio, internet and television programs and other works relating to community-based organizations in accordance with the law.
26. The Chin National Front shall have the right to freely seek funding for the implementation of development works within Chin State.
27. With the view of facilitating ease of travels and promoting the social and educational development of the Chin people residing outside of Chin State, the Union Government, Chin State Government and the Chin National Front shall cooperate together in gradually building ‘Chin State Guest Houses’ in Naypyidaw, Yangon, Mandalay, Pakhuku, Kalay, Sittwe and Seih Town.
28. The following signatories duly entered their signatures having duly agreed on the above points.
[Note: Names, titles and signatures of members of both parties as well as observers below are intentionally omitted in the translation]