The measure passed by 398 to 14, with one voting “present.” All of the “no” and “present” votes came from Republicans.


On February 10, the military regime’s governing body, the State Administration Council, dissolved the office Aung San Suu Kyi’s deposed civilian government established to negotiate peace with ethnic armed organisations and announced the formation of its own negotiation team.

But many ethnic armed groups, including the 10 signatories to a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, have refused to engage with the SAC; some have even announced their support for the anti-coup protest movement and the people’s right to protest.

Kachin State on Myanmar’s northern border with China, where the Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/A), one of the country’s most prominent armed groups, has been fighting for self-determination since 1961, is rapidly emerging as a new front in the crisis.

[…]

On March 14, the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a parallel government set up to carry out the duties of the deposed elected government, issued a statement informing the people of their right to self-defence from violence according to the law.

Three days later, it said ethnic armed organisations would no longer be considered “terrorist” or “unlawful” organisations.

“The Committee sincerely recognises, records and congratulates all ethnic armed revolutionary organisations which are making efforts together in the mindset of brothers and sisters with the strong commitment to the building of [a] federal democratic union,” the CRPH said in a statement.

On Thursday, the CRPH also issued a statement expressing its intent to work with the Kachin Political Interim Coordination Team towards shared goals including the establishment of a federal democratic union.

The military government on March 11 removed the “terrorist” designation of the Rakhine-based Arakan Army, among the country’s most formidable armed groups.  But the Unlawful Association Act designation of other ethnic armed organisations, including the KIO/A still remains.

A Kachin youth in Myitkyina told Al Jazeera he believed now was the “right time” for armed resistance for the country, and that it was “the time for the KIO/A to stand with the people.” “If we don’t want to live under military dictatorship, we all have to fight against it,” he said.

www.aljazeera.com/…

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