August 20, 2016

As long as we refuse to remain isolated

Time is often quoted as a great healer. Even after more than 50 years, the people in some states are yet to enjoy the fruits of peace. In a bid to end the long-festering internal armed conflict between the army and ethnic groups, the government renamed the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC), following a meeting on 9 May.
It is encouraging to hear what Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said in a press conference with journalists three days ago. The army chief admitted some difficulty in dealing with ongoing fighting. It is quite understandable that the army has the capacity to root out the ethnic armed organisations left to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement. However, the commander-in-chief showed an unusual broadmindedness, stressing that the army has to take into consideration the friendly relations with the ethnic armed groups and the neighbouring countries as well.
At this rate, negotiation with the remaining armed groups is expected to start soon, despite some sporadic clashes. Clearly, now is an opportune time for the conflicting sides to make renewed efforts to improve their strained relations by putting the interest of the people first. It does take time for the wounds to heal.
People often compare the time taken to solve a difficult problem to the length of time to dig a well, saying that you cannot have water with a single stroke of digging. Similarly, it takes a little long for a seedling to grow from a seed and a little longer for a seedling to grow into a tree. Either way, peace is neither a well nor a tree. Peace does not take time to prevail, as long as we refuse to remain isolated.


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