August 20, 2016

What it takes to make a transition without bloodshed

Myint Win Thein

Countries across the world have undergone dramatic transitions from one political system to another. Unfortunately, some countries underwent the change through violent means, resulting in wars and the flight of thousands of refugees. Few nations can claim that they were able to transform their political system smoothly and without bloodshed.
Those that can are justifiably proud of their peaceful transition as it shows the political maturity of their people. Myanmar claims to be currently undergoing a peaceful transition. A transition without bloodshed means that all problems are solved through political means and without armed conflict. In fact, elections are a mean of change without bloodshed. Myanmar’s elections must therefore be free from violence. In addition, they must be free and fair. All parties must stand on equal ground.
The outcome of the elections must not be controversial. Another measure of reform in Myanmar is the peace deal with armed ethnic groups, because armed conflicts involve bloodshed almost by definition. It claims causalities on both sides and causes swathes of the population to become internally displaced. Civil war must be put to an end before we may claim that Myanmar is undergoing a peaceful transition to democracy. Issues affecting ethnic groups must be solved through political dialogue. It is therefore vital that the terms of the ceasefire agreement be adhered to. Only then can Myanmar truly claim to be undergoing a peaceful transition without bloodshed.


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