The Government’s Committee for Coordinating and Cooperating with Ethnic Armed Organizations regarding prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 held an online video conference with the Karen National Union (KNU) yesterday morning.
Firstly, Committee Chairman Dr Tin Myo Win and KNU General-Secretary Pado Saw Tah Do Mu delivered opening speeches after which the meeting began.
Committee Vice-Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Khin Zaw Oo said the meeting mainly discussed in detail the seven topics of discussion held between them and the 10 NCA-S EAOs on 8 May. He said it involved solutions to challenges and obstacles, pre-negotiations, avoiding unintentional conflict, and rules for both sides to adhere to.
He said they briefly discussed forming a joint-committee related to international assistance and the World Bank and options thought up by the government’s side and the KNU.
The Committee will hold a COVID-19 coordination meeting with the New Mon State Party (NMSP) on 12 May and another meeting with the KNU on similar topics in the third week of May. Khin Zaw Oo said they will discuss assistance from the World Bank in the coming weeks and go into detail on how EAOs can effectively assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19. He said this meeting was fruitful with discussions becoming more like action plans and increased understanding between each group. He believed these elements will support the peace process.
Khin Zaw Oo also said they will negotiate with the joint-committee to open centres for COVID-19 prevention in undefined territories and they have proposed to work with medical professionals and medical teams if possible.
He said they discussed what people going there would wear without uniforms or weapons and how processes should take place, such as the Red Cross armband for example. He said they will send a detailed list of areas they are comfortable on working in that regard later and the government will coordinate with all relevant entities to execute the process.
Attending the online meeting were government representatives led by Dr Tin Myo Win and invited guests and KNU General-Secretary Pado Saw Tah Do Mu, KNU COVID-19 Prevention and Containment Committee Chairman Pado Saw Sel Pwe and KNU representatives.—Ye Khaung Nyunt (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)