Second Panglong Conference Proposed Using Internet
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Second Panglong Conference Proposed Using Internet

By KO HTWE Tuesday, November 16, 2010


A second Panglong type conference of ethnic leaders may be convened using the Internet as a way to start discussions among ethnic groups, ethnic leaders said following a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy, Thawng Kho Thang, a senior member of the United Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD), said that it might be difficult to hold a second Panglong conference in one location.

He said that the second Panglong conference might be organized around the Internet, with discussions held at the state level which could then be sent to a central website for an exchange of ideas.

“Although we might not be able to unite in one place, we can know the opinions of everyone and develop policy,” said Tawng Kho Tang.

Suu Kyi, in her first speech in front of headquarter of National League for Democracy on Sunday, said, “A second Panglong conference addressing the concerns of the 21st century is needed for national reconciliation.”

Saw Harry said that the Internet would be the best way forward because they did not have the authority to hold a conference.

Suu Kyi met with ethnic leaders on Tuesday afternoon including Naing Ngwe Thein, the chairman of the All Mon Region Democracy Party; Naing Tun Thein of Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF); Pu Cin Sian Thang, a spokesman for the United Nationalities Alliance; Thar Ban, the acting chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy and a veteran journalist and politician; Sai Shwe Kyuu, a Shan leader accompanied by Sai Tin Aung and Thawng Kho Thang; the UNLD; the Committee Representing People’s Parliament (CRPP); and Saw Harry, a Karen ethinc leader, at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) .

Suu Kyi has said that she frequently downloaded radio programs from the Internet that she had missed. She also said during her house arrest that she wanted to sign up for a Twitter account.

Many Irrawaddy readers, using the “Any Suggestions for Suu Kyi?” box on the website, have sent her suggestions on what she should work on following her release and some have offered her Facebook and Twitter  accounts as presents.

The original Panglong conference was a pre-independence agreement signed by ethnic leaders and Suu Kyi's father, Gen Aung San, that guaranteed the rights of Burma's ethnic minorities in 1948.

The “Kale Declaration” made by ethnic leaders and politicians opposed to the Nov. 7 election in Kale, Sagaing Division, called for a federal system based on equality and democracy to be established through a second Panglong conference.

Many Burmese inside the country depend on news from international media and exiled groups because of censorship inside the country by the regime. It has not allowed the local media to mention the fact that Suu Kyi said her party would focus on political activities, and it has said it will limit articles about her activities.

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han khine Wrote:
It will be good to share differance idea on internet but in reality it will not work out and make the decision we could need.The best thing is , to see face to face and talk. That will be the way to meet not only in bussiness but also in the leaders of politic.

Venus Wrote:
A ha, teleconference for Myanmar. Who said that Myanmar is behind the world? If we open the door, we will surely keep abreast with the world. Welcome Online teleconference Panlong Agreement.

myo nyunt Wrote:
That's great. The politics of recognition and reconciliation between people who belong to a Nation again has emerged. Who represents whom, I as a observer of the external democratic and national ethnic forces struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma, assume-or consider, has already been determined (The National Reconciliation Program and The Genuine Federal Constitution of Burma and State Constitutions). I hope the second Pinlon Conference--(Kale Declaration), under the careful watch of our national leader Daw Aung San Su Kyi and the NLD party will not exclude the patriotic progressive forces, the un-represented ordinary Burmese people-- the multitude.

Peoples Democracy. Democracy is us, we will get there.

Myo Nyunt (Myanmarmyo)
Perth, Western Australia

Khurtai Kornkhaw Wrote:
The idea is good. But whether this should be a town hall meeting or representative meeting type should also be taken into consideration. A forerunner facilitation committee to set up such a forum, with rules and regulation, would be a good start.

Irish Peh Wrote:
It would be the best solution to the political deadlock. However, how would the political parties inside Burma reach out to the exile parties and the armed ethnic groups along the borders?

Phone Z. Phyo Wrote:
Making use of the Internet to shrink geography is a good idea but I believe that a history making conference such as this should not be held over the internet for the following reasons.

1) It removes the emotions and body language that are conveyed in the physical conference. In my opinion, conveying emotions is very important in a conference which purpose is to unify the country.
2) It is worse if video conferencing cannot be done. Assuming the Internet connectivity in Myanmar, video conferencing is quite limited.

I would like to propose the following.
1) Please hold the conference in one location as much as it is possible.
2) If some of the participants are not able to attend physically, please allow them to participate through the Internet.
3) Please get some people to update the conference on the Internet, the happenings during the conference so that the distant participants can effectively participate.

Thank you for reading my opinion.

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