- Dr. Khine Khine Win
According to the 2015 Global Peace Index, the intensity of internal armed conflict has increased dramatically, while the cost of violence around the world reached a staggering US$14.3 trillion in 2014. Armed conflict often leads to forced migration, long-term refugee problems, and the destruction of infrastructure. Social, political and economic institutions can be damaged. Indeed, we have many problems like poverty, sickness, illiteracy, racial and religious rivalry, child mortality etc. and that is utmost essential that we have peaceful environment to deal with them. Then, for all aspects of progress and human development we need peace and harmony around the world.
If we look back at our country’s history, soon after the 20th Century Panglong Agreement and our Independence, Myanmar succumbed to the fires of internal conflict.
For nearly seventy years, peace, stability and development in Myanmar have fallen victim to conflict. Even today, Myanmar has not yet been able to escape from the trap of poverty and conflict, and great efforts will be needed if we are to catch up with the rest of the world. We, Myanmar people have been waiting for almost seventy years to witness the ray of hope for a better future and I believe that only peace can bring our dreams come true.
There is a saying “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding” by American essayist and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is precocious saying for everyone around the world who loves peace. If we desire a society of peace, we need understanding each other. We cannot achieve such a society through violence.
Love and understanding: what do you think which one is more important? There is no exact answer. Different people have different answers for different reasons. For me I prefer understanding. Understanding is more important as love without understanding won’t last. For instance, we love our family, spouse, wives but sometimes we confront each other when we lose understanding each other. Even if love is there conflicts and misunderstanding always exists in family. Without doubt absence of understanding pushes family to no peace zone. If we want to live in peace zone we need not only love bust also understanding.
Peace and understanding: many people believe peace is important in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts that might hinder the progress of human being. Peace creates progress and happiness.
The United Nations defined peace as the collection of attitudes, beliefs and actions that demonstrate a concern for worldwide human rights and a positive regard for life. Peace involves turning the other cheek when necessary, and aiming to understanding others.
I totally agree understanding can create peace and I believe that peace can only be achieved when humanity has reached a level of mutual understanding and tolerance. No one would fight if they understand the other’s point of view.
Trust, trust is also an essential ingredient in building peace. Without trust there can be no genuine peace. In order to build peace, first we need to build trust. Without peace nothing good things can happen. No education, no rule of law, no good governance, no good economic, no peaceful life and so on. Peace provides the appropriate environment for many other things such as better economic performance, more inclusive societies, including gender equality and better measures on ecological sustainability.
The question is how to create peace and understanding. The question of real, lasting peace concerns human beings, so basic human feelings are also at its roots.
There is a peace within understanding when a person knows why something is occurring in their life. Only a peaceful mind can lead a family, society, a community, a nation and the world to better prospects and progress.
There is a question. How to create peace of mind? It is easier said than done. But we have to cultivate peace of mind if we really want to lead our family, society, community and let our beloved people to live in peace zone.
The 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows the world became less peaceful in the last year, reinforcing the underlying trend of declining peace over the last decade. Results also show a growing global inequality in peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict.
Peace is not a one-time act. True peace is built over time, with many different processes and approaches that move conflict into lasting, peaceful relationships. It requires action at many different levels, by different people, in different ways, and at different points in a conflict. Increased understanding – of different cultures, languages, and concerns – can go a long way toward reducing conflict. No doubt, there can be no peace without understanding.
Former U.S President Mr. Obama made remarks at United Nations Generally Assembly in 2011 and he said “now we have learned that no matter how much we love peace and hate war, we cannot avoid having war brought upon us if there are convulsions in other parts of the world”. The fact is peace is hard. But our people demand it and the one thing we want is peace undoubtedly.
2017 International Day of Peace theme is “ Together for peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for all. In order to have peace, we need to work together, promote peace together by respecting each other. We can make peace and we can try to keep it. But to foster nonviolent peace is a primary goal.
To foster peace is to move toward a just peace, a just peace fosters nonviolent peace. If we want to develop like any other developed country we need to find peace.
Without peace we cannot hope for stability, human rights, effective governance and sustainable development. Again, Peace is the linchpin of social harmony, economic equity and political justice.
To conclude, being Myanmar citizen, I have my fingers crossed for my beloved country. I pray that people who are living in Myanmar can come and be united as a whole. I pray that one day we will be united not divided. The one thing we want is peace, peace and peace.
References: Understanding conflict and war Vol.5: the Just peace, R.J.Rummel
: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor speech: May 25, 2017