- Khin Maung Myint
In a country where there is no peace, there cannot be prosperity. As a matter of fact, if there is no peace there would be much hindrances to the development of that country and the general populace would always be subjected to insecurity, anxieties, dangers, threats and poverty. Therefore peace is the most important and most desired goal for a country. It can be generally analyzed that the absence of peace is caused by many factors, of which, the most important are: lack of unity, misunderstandings, distrusts, hatreds, grievances, inability to forgive and forget and above all, manipulations and instigations by those who could benefit only if there is no peace.
Lack of unity
The lack of unity is the main driving force behind the hindrances that are depriving us of the coveted peace, which we had been yearning for, since right after our Independence. Peace had eluded us for nearly seven decades. So, what factors are hindering the attainment of peace? In my humble opinion, misunderstandings are the main culprits, because misunderstandings lead to distrusts, distrusts breed hatreds, which in turn give rise to grievances and all these factors contribute to the disunity.
It is only natural that if one doesn’t trust another, misunderstandings would follow suit. These misunderstandings fueled the hatred between the two. Today, what we are facing are the misunderstandings between national races and the Bamar race. Most national races thought that the Bamars, as the majority race, are getting all the privileges while their needs are being neglected. This situation gave rise to distrusts.
Distrust towards one another is the most divisive force behind the disunity. This distrust is mainly directed towards the majority race, the Bamars, by some ethnic races. In the past there may be sound and concrete reasons for their distrusts. I don’t blame anyone for mistrusting, because they have every right to be so, but after all these years, times have changed and so also their views and outlooks should be changed.
Misunderstandings also lead to hatreds and hatreds turned into hostilities and thence to conflicts. These conflicts emerged with the advent of our Independence and are still raging on in some places. It is high time that these undesirable conflicts should stop once and for all.
Grievances harboured by some national races are mostly based on the past histories and some are born out of misunderstandings. Such attitudes are despicable and are detrimental to the peace, so they should be rid off too.
Forgive and forget
I would like to repeat what I had written in one of my previous articles. I had mentioned there, that peace could only be attained through unity among our peoples, based on the national reconciliation process.
To achieve the national reconciliations, we must discard our distrusts, grievances, hatreds amongst the diverse national races and have more understandings towards one another.
We should try to forgive and forget what had happened in the past, but if we would be dwelling in the past and lamenting on what were supposed to have happened based on the not so creditable historical records, peace would remain elusive as ever.
If we look back to our past, we are bound to see that like everywhere else in the world of those days, there were wars between the various kingdoms and fiefdoms since time immemorial. Those were the days when “might is right” and those who were mighty would bully the weaklings.
Also, those were the days when there was no conventions or organizations to control or intervene in such situations of hostilities.
Thus whoever attained a sizeable military advantage over the others would wage wars on those that were weaker.
Those were the days of empire-buildings, which were being carried out all over the world.
Some national races are still dwelling in the past and holding grudges against the Bamars for what the Kings and rulers of the old days had done to them. Likwise there were also times when some national races plundered the Bamar Kingdoms.
Thus it is undeniable that the intrusions and atrocities committed in the past were not one-sided. However, most of the Bamars had forgiven or even forgotten those incidents of the past and never kept lamenting them.
A fact that can be proved by the fact that most of their new generations are not even aware that such things ever took place in the past.
That is because they never handed down the grievances and hatreds against other national races to their new generations.
At the present, the incumbent administration is endeavoring earnestly with genuine goodwill to achieve national reconciliations, which are the foundations of peace.
Now is the most opportune time for all the ethnic armed groups to participate in the peace process.
I would like to suggest that all the stakeholders should discard their misunderstandings, distrusts, hatreds and grievances, forgive and forget, make necessary compromises as much as possible to settle their differences and join hands to work towards that common goal. We should be mindful that without peace the country wouldn’t prosper as much as she should.
So, let us bury the hatchets finally and move forward, hand in hand, towards a peaceful and brighter future. Lastly, we should be wary of those saboteurs who would manipulate or instigate to derail the peace process.