August 19, 2016

Peace worth a fortune to Myanmar

Myanmar regained its independence from Britain 67 years ago. Since then, a number of ethnic minority groups have waged civil conflicts. The government has made shaky provisional ceasefires with some of them.
Fundamental questions at ceasefire talks included autonomy, federalism and self-determination. These concerns have not been solved, although the country now has preliminary ceasefire agreements with several ethnic armed groups.
Internal conflict has been a constant backdrop to the development of Myanmar. Any country torn by civil war cannot properly develop. If all stakeholders fail to make agreements for internal peace, the country will lag behind neighbouring economies. They all need to demonstrate genuine will for national reconciliation.
Civil conflicts have been hampering many pivotal sectors of the country, including tourism, education, health and industry. Although Myanmar has abundant natural resources on land and at sea, development programmes have not been set up effectively due to civil conflicts. In turn, many ordinary people have to live under the poverty line.
After the three-day ceasefire talks between the government and the representatives of ethnic armed groups on 24 July, the stakeholders are hopeful that the final agreement can be made in near future. They held marathon talks of more than 18 months.
Military power cannot assure lasting peace although it can threaten others. Mutual trust and willingness to develop a peaceful environment can guarantee prosperity, as well as the fortune of the country.


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