August 19, 2016

When it comes to peace, the sooner the better

At a time when our country as a nascent democracy is undergoing a time of great change, the decision makers from various mechanisms must be brave enough to spare no effort to meet challenges ahead with strength and resolve. In other words, renewed efforts are to be made to improve the six decades of strained relations between the army and the ethnic armed groups.
Clearly, no peace talks will bear fruit as long as the stakeholders refuse to unclench their fists and let shared hope burn in their hearts. The implementation of the peace process comes with some risks involving compromise and concession. It is, therefore, necessary for them to prepare themselves to take these risks and bring our country to its rightful place in the international community.
There is every reason to believe that the government will resume the 21st Century Panglong Conference, which is much after the fashion of the Union Peace Conference. At the meeting of the Union-level Peace Dialogue Joint Committee in Nay Pyi Taw two days ago, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave a broad hint concerning the reconvening of the conference in line with the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement signed between the government and eight ethnic armed groups last October.
To put an end to the internal conflict, all the armed groups have little choice but to avoid further head-on confrontations. As Martin Luther King once spoke eloquently on peace, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The sooner peace is restored, the better it will be for the country.


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