August 19, 2016

Peace and stability requires uphill struggle

Tha Sein

The new, more democratically-minded government has made great strides in its own struggle to advance freedom, justice and democracy for all and to establish a closer rapport with international community that sends a crucial signal of support for political and economic reforms. Since taking the helm following a landslide victory in November election, the new administration has been stacked with dissidents and peoples of different faiths as it seeks to tackle a range of pressing issues such as religious conflicts and communal riots. It is an epic struggle it has made that has at times veered from victory to defeat and has recently taken on new significance.
At a particularly sensitive time, the country has seen two separate outbursts of riot stemming from misunderstanding among peoples of different faiths, begetting unease in all spheres of Myanmar society with many fearing for possible communal violence. Much upset by this, some of social media networks were circulating rumors to fuel the communal strife beyond control. However, there seemed to be a great relief writ large, for local authorities and religious leaders exercised restraint and contained the situations in time.
Vis-à-vis the recent outbursts of riot in Lebyin village of Hpakant township, a remote jade mining region, and Thaye-thamein village of Waw township, about 100 kilometers from a commercial city of Yangon, it is quite natural that such an incident could happen at all times in a country with a plethora of ethnic and religious communities. Whatever it may be, such hostile acts only invite international sarcasm and overshadow the ongoing reform efforts.
In the latest twist in the making ongoing peace process a success, the government has come up with a way to make the peace process inclusive and equal, in which NCA non-signatories are well accepted and regarded as a welcome move to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding among all.
There is a lot that the government has done in its nation-building endeavors in order to bring about peace and stability in the country with the 21st Panglong Peace Conference high on the agenda, yet achieving this requires an uphill struggle. On top of this, it is taking every possible step to meet public expectations for improvement in various aspects.


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