Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'

By Tin Maung Than Wednesday, December 15, 2004

(Page 2 of 5)

But if all parties are able to make a few concessions, it can lead to democracy.


Q: What are those concessions?


A: I see room for developing opportunities to move forward, if all sides agree on a few points with minimal requirement of changes to the 104 principles that were supposedly drafted to protect the generals. First, the constitution, drafted by the National Convention, should be regarded as a transitional constitution, which is designed to bring forth a safe, healing process to the country.  Second, during the second term of the parliament of transitional constitution, a constitutional committee for democracy will be organized. A new democratic constitution, drafted by this committee, will be adopted through a referendum. Third, a chapter, which lays out the timeframe for a gradual withdrawal of the military from politics, must be added to the currently drafted constitution. Fourth, the qualification of members of parliament, which was designed to prevent democratic forces from entering politics, should be removed. Some powers [vested in the] Commander in Chief of Armed Forces, that stand above presidential power, should also be curtailed. Fifth, both sides should find a way to recognize the 1990 election results.


Q: You mentioned in an earlier interview that the reconciliation process is continuing in Burma. What do you mean by that?


A: Reconciliation happens not because some people on both sides are moderate since the beginning of the conflict. Neither Gorbachev nor de Klerk [the reforming statesmen of the Soviet Union and South Africa, respectively] was moderate when they came into the group that holds power. Moderateness and reconciliation are the inevitable and necessary products of conflict. [The] reconciliation process ebbs and flows. Don’t let’s lose hope.


On the other hand, reconciliation and mass struggle are two sides of the [same] coin. When we look at the development of democracy in most countries, we may realize that mass struggle and reconciliation complement each other. If we realize only a struggle and miss the point of reconciliation, and vice versa, the journey of democracy will be long. It seems that we have missed the point of reconciliation until now. Missing the point doesn’t mean there is no process at all. Conflict and reconciliation are working in the same process of change.


Q: Many observers think that the new leadership consists of hardliners.

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