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Nehginpao Kipgen -- The politics of Myanmar's peace conference

​Myanmar's peace talks highlight the role of ethnic-group ​representatives in the country's parliament. Here, Kachin representatives talk at the parliament in Naypyitaw on March 10. (Photo: Steve Tickner)

Myanmar's much vaunted 21st Century Panglong Conference that runs from Aug. 31 to Sept 4 in the capital, Naypyitaw, is the latest official effort to resolve decades of conflict between ethnic groups and the country's military.

The conference will be chaired by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader, who is aiming to conclude the unfinished business of her late father, General Aung San. In 1947, the independence hero met with key ethnic leaders in the frontier town of Panglong and signed an accord to form a loose federation ahead of the withdrawal of Britain, the colonial power. Following Aung San's assassination later that year, the agreement foundered and Myanmar has since suffered decades of insurgency and strife.

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