Civil Society Pushes for Transitional Justice


Burmese civil society groups on Sunday urged ethnic peace negotiators to implement transitional justice as the country inches closer to a nationwide ceasefire agreement.

Forty-two representatives of about 25 CSOs made the recommendation during a meeting with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, from Nov. 22-23. The NCCT is the negotiating bloc representing Burma’s myriad ethnic armed groups in ceasefire talks and political dialogue with the government.

Civil society attendees encouraged the bloc to raise the issue of justice during upcoming meetings with the government’s mediators, the Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC), led by Union Minister Aung Min. The NCCT was also urged to push for the imminent creation of a truth commission and establish a comprehensive reparation scheme.

Attendees also recommended increasing the role of women in the peace process, ensuring independent ceasefire monitoring, postponing large-scale development projects pending genuine reform and implementing safe and internationally acceptable resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons. This weekend’s meeting was the first of its kind between the NCCT and civil society stakeholders.

Representatives of the NCCT have accepted the suggestion to propose transitional justice to the UPWC, but were unable to speculate on whether the government will agree to implement early steps toward justice before ratifying a ceasefire and entering political dialogue.

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