Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi (center) arrives for the second anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) ceremony at the Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC) in Naypyidaw on Oct 15, 2017. (AUNG HTET / AFP)
NAY PYI TAW - Myanmar government and two more ethnic armed groups signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday.
The join-in signing of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) to the government's NCA has brought the total of such signatories to 10 since the first signing with eight armed groups on Oct 15, 2015.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also chairperson of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center, expressed welcome for the two armed groups which she said have taken a bold step in laying down a cornerstone for the emergence of a democratic federal union in the future.
ALSO READ: Myanmar signs landmark ceasefire agreement
She maintained that the NCA is not the end of the peace process but the beginning of the process, the beginning of political dialogue and armed conflict reduction and through the dialogue and negotiation, political issues are to be resolved.
She invited the remaining armed groups to come to the political negotiation round table under the government's future program, while continuing to work with organizations which have already signed the NCA to consolidate the ceasefire process.
Aung San Suu Kyi has called for inclusiveness in the country's national reconciliation and peace process, reiterating the government's welcome of non-ceasefire signatory armed groups to join the signing of NCA and be inclusive in formulating the principles toward a democratic federal union in the future.
Several other groups which have not yet signed the NCA include the Kayinni National Progressive Party (KNPP), the Arakan National Council (ANC), the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).