News Desk:

Chief of Staff Gen. Pao Khay of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) on Thursday thanked the Myanmar government on Thursday for releasing 31 of its fighters who were arrested by the Tatmadaw (military).

He made the comment during a meeting between the RCSS and the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) delegation, led by vice chairman U Tin Myo Win, in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday to discuss reviving the deadlocked peace process, according to the RCSS.

At a meeting with the government and military at the NRPC in March, the RCSS had demanded the release of the 31 fighters, whom it said had been detained by the military recently, before it would continue implementing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

The government and armed groups need to be balanced and fair during implementation of the NCA, Gen. Pao Khay told the meeting.

“We need to be fair when we talk peace, because we have to work together to find a way to stop the conflict. Moreover, the government’s time is limited to implement the NCA,” he said.

The RCSS will meet military leaders again in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.

The RCSS signed the NCA in 2015 but suspended official talks with the government last October. Since then, it has not taken part in official talks involving the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee, the Joint Implementation Coordination Meeting on the NCA, and the Joint Monitoring Committee.