The leader of a new Shan political party said the group supported the government’s peacemaking efforts but more needed to be done to “ensure equal opportunities for all”.
The Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party head office was opened in Mandalay on September 5 and the group plans to contest the next general election, expected in 2015, said chairman U Sai Htay Aung.
In the meantime, it will conduct activities to preserve the culture of Tai-Leng, a Shan sub-group known as the “red Shan”.
“We will preserve and foster our national identity. In particular, we will try to arrange for all Tai-Leng people a National Registration Card in the name of the Tai Leng, and also strive for equal opportunities for all, regardless of ethnicity,” U Sai Htay Aung said.
He said the group supported the peace process and wanted a national peace conference in which all ethnic groups could participate.
“The interests of the residents in conflict zones should be the first priority. The government, armed groups and residents need to work together to find peace,” he said.
Members from the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, Wunthanu NLD, National Unity Party and Shan National League for Democracy also attended the ceremony and gave addresses to the audience.