Resolving Ethnic Conflicts in Burma—Ceasefires to Sustainable Peace
By ASHLEY SOUTH Thursday, March 8, 2012

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Like the peace issues discussed above, it is essential that communities participate in decisions about projects which will affect their lives.

The opinions expressed in this guest commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of  The Irrawaddy.

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Tom Tun Wrote:
Where do you get all these ideas? By smoking pot? Keep living in your dream buddy. Are you lecturing Burmese people and Ethnic people, how is proper peace be built? Can you even make peace with your own girlfriend? Every human being with thinking power have idea of how to develop peace. It has already began. Your divisive agenda of Poe Karen and Sagaw Karen doesn't work. We don't need you.

Ohn Wrote:
In the cloak and mirror land of Burma, conventional political wisdom may not be usable. Derek Tonkin got it right ( when he suggested that current situation is but orderly planned events by the military with surgical precision. With perhaps a great stroke of luck that Aung San Suu Kyi swallowed Then Sein’s lines hook, line and sinker.
Biggest asset of the Burmese military is their unparalleled accurate perception of the Burmese as well as international opinion and ability to exploit it most effectively admittedly with few glaring miscalculations. Hence the survival of the fittest.

Ohn Wrote:
The1990 “peace deals” of Khin Nyunt correctly assumed that by giving business deals and letting the top leaders of various armed groups to run legitimate businesses in mainland Burma, the army would get free hand to deal with the more important and pressing issue of crushing civil dissent in urban areas and get the proceeds of the lucrative opium trade into mainstream economy which continues to the day.

Ohn Wrote:
In one stroke, few of the armed groups truly representing the people of the region, became simple mercenaries with business deals losing their traditional grass root support.

Current round of negotiations are but over confidence of the military to buy out the “ethnic leaders” with better business deals and token recognition in administrative posts which are purely ceremonial like Shan Vice-President. But unfortunately the true nationalistic spirit has not been sufficiently corroded with many groups putting principles before money and influence putting their own lives at risk.
The chauvinistic Burmese military thinking is exactly the same from 1962 to today. The continued conflict signifies there are more than money at stake here but the military will never understand this simple fact in a million years.

MHK Wrote:
Good article with excellent recommendations.
“Lasting peace must also address the underlying social-economic and political grievances and aspirations of ethnic communities. These are potentially divisive issues, which require working with individuals and communities on identities and interests. Such long-term work must be owned and driven by Burmese citizens.”

Very true. At the end of the day, the Burmese who compose 60%, the majority of the entire population must initiate the understanding with all other minority peoples of Myanmar. It is to us (if we think the state is not performing well), who should initiate the cultural, languages, traditions, religious exchanges among our people.

The Burmese should learn also shan, Karen, chin, kachin languages if necessary and try to understand them, first of all learn about the different peoples of Myanmar with different histories, cultural, traditional values and try to live together with equality.

We know so less or almost nothing about peoples of Myanmar.

Brang Wrote:
Not ceasefire but political dialogue that we need. The minority ethnic will demand for autonomy base on the ethnic equality and self-determination rights which the Burmese government doesn’t want to share it.
To get genuine peace in Burma is totally depend on the Burmese government. To gain peace in Burma 1) they should have willingness of political solution 2) Reconnection of the ethnic arm group 3) Officially announce nation-wide ceasefire 4) Call for National Assembly as Panglong which include all the Ethnic arm groups and political parties and civil society but this should not be under the 2008 constitution 5)National reconciliation and the refugee and IDPs resettlement and rehabilitation have to implement after gaining peace in the country.

Note; The Foreign investment have to wait until the ethnic and political conflict was solved. Otherwise the investment will no longer guarantee.

KML Wrote:
Thank you for a balanced analysis and recommendations on ethnic peace making and peace building. It is a golden opportunity to heal the wounds inflicted in past. While armed ethnics are at the centre of peace building priority, the healing process for unarmed ethnics should not be underestimated and ignored.
Rohingya in Rakhine state, does not matter how you call them, is the right example. They did have low grade arm resistance before, but later disappeared due to unpopularity among the same community. You can label them immigrants, aliens or whatever but their wellbeing is also important in restoring the good image of the country. There are three options: CRUSH, IGNORE & EMBRACE them. Crush and Ignore options never worked in the past and created significant embarrassment on Burma. Does the new government ready to embrace them? If so, 1982 Citizenship Law should be amended and simplified. I think UN and other foreign governments are observing this issue before ASEAN 2014, Naypyitaw.

Uraw Gam Wrote:
International Witnesses and Monitor required to achieve a sustainable peace. Without them no deal, no signing.

More Articles in This Section

bullet Making Sure Burma Doesn't Go Dutch

bullet Corruption Scandal in Burma: The Canadian Connection

bullet Helping Education to Keep Pace with Reform

bullet How the Game Was Lost

bullet Karens at the Crossroads

bullet Building Country Ownership in Burma

bullet Donors Rush Where Angels Feared to Tread

bullet Myanmar: On Claiming Success

bullet Ceasefires Won't Bring Peace

bullet General, You Lied

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