The Myanmar Times newspaper reported on Monday that the next round of proposed peace talks between Burma's government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) will not go ahead because of a disagreement over who the KIO would be negotiating with. The KIO is said to have rejected a suggested meeting with Burma's military the Tatmadaw because the group wants to meet with the government directly.
“This is not a problem between the armies. It is just because of the government’s policy; it does not want to solve the ethnic problems through political means and the government keeps neglecting the real meaning of ‘union’,” the KIO's senior Lah Nan (also spelled La Nan) told the Myanmar Times via an email sent last week.
It remains to be seen when or if President Thein Sein's chief negotiator former Railway Minister Aung Min, will respond to the KIO with a counteroffer. Aung Min, a senior figure in Than Shwe's military regime appears to have lost the trust of his KIO counterparts after promises he made earlier this year that his government would reverse a policy outlawing the KIO as an illegal organization failed to come to reality.
Meanwhile Sunday Thein Sein claimed during his first ever press conference for domestic media that his government wanted peace in Kachin state while at the same accusing the KIO of sabotage.
"To get a cease-fire agreement is our government's goal," AP news agency reported Thein Sein as saying in response to a question from a journalist. "It's the people's desire to get peace and we are doing our best for the people's desire," Thein Sein said.
Thein Sein also used the press conference to hit back at the KIO. According to the Irrawaddy magazine he accused the KIO of committing acts of sabotage against roads, bridges, railways and the national power group.