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Peace Process Can’t Proceed Without Suu Kyi
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Peace Process Can’t Proceed Without Suu Kyi

By Azan

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Efforts, but in vain
Despite Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi stating that she wants to participate in the peace committee, to address and try to resolve more than six decades of ethnic conflict, Naypyidaw did not invite her to join the team.

These types of decisions, such as not putting the right people in the right place, cause ethnic leaders and people to believe that the Burmese government does not truly want to solve the country’s deep-rooted problems.

Ethnic people trust Suu Kyi more than the Burmese Government
Ethnic people consider Suu Kyi to be the only person who can topple the military system in Burma. Their own ethnic political parties, elected to parliamentary seats and given formal political platforms, did not dare to speak out openly against the military system and still cannot protect the rights of their people.

Many Mon people voted for Khin Htay Kyaw, a candidate for the National League for Democracy Party (NLD) who won a seat in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, on the April 1 by-election. Even though she represents the Burmese party, and is not Mon, they trust someone from the only party that dares to oppose the military.

Some Mon plan to support Suu Kyi in order to ensure that she will topple the regime, and then will later support Mon political parties once there is basic and true democracy, not one defined and managed by the military government.

The future for Suu Kyi and the ethnic people
Ethnic people, not just Burmese and NLD supporters, are certain that Suu Kyi is going to win the upcoming 2015 election. Suu Kyi will secure the majority vote from ethnic regions because people want to usher in real change to the country and do not want the military to lead the government.

International community must not ignore the role of Suu Kyi
Foreign countries, including those involved with the peace processes and providing aid to support development and peace in Burma, must not ignore the role of Suu Kyi. They must use their substantial leverage and influence to pressure the government to allow Suu Kyi to participate in the peace team.

Suu Kyi has a lot of support from ethnic people, and the leaders of armed ethnic groups who seek to coordinate peace talks with the government must also pay attention to Suu Kyi, without whom they may not get full support from their people.

If peace talks are solely offered by government representatives, then any doubts that arise for ethnic armed leaders, or any talking points they feel they cannot address, may quickly disintegrate into apprehension, walkouts, or even a collapse of negotiations. Suu Kyi’s inclusion in the peace team ensures the presence of someone they and their people can trust.

International aid: for what and for whom?
It may seem odd to ask, but how big of a role does the international community really have in the peace process? Have they been able to demand a stop to fighting in Kachin State and Shan States?
There is no evidence that the international community has the power to sincerely influence government action, despite the extraordinary amounts of funding they devote to the peace process.  The international community must take responsibility for its role in reforms—the money that countries contribute implicates them in the process and outcomes. They must insist that the government peace committee develops and adheres to a negotiation timeframe with the ethnic armed groups and schedules a joint political talk that includes all ethnic groups.

It is essential to closely monitor international aid and prevent it from disappearing into the pockets of Railway Minister Aung Min, Naypyidaw’s chief peace negotiator, and members of his peace team.

Aun Min’s efforts cannot lead to peace
Aun Min has a military background, and while he may generally acknowledge the mindset of the ethnic people, it is unlikely that he has a profound understanding of their cultures, lives, and hardships. This gap between the military institution’s traditional point of view and the ethnic outlook is an automatic obstacle to the peace talks. Most ethnic people are not comfortable speaking to Burmese generals, due to the longstanding practice of treating ethnic groups as second class in their own country.

Several ethnic groups have their own armies and many of their people believe they can sustain armed resistance forever as long as they receive support, through personnel and money, from their communities. This is how the armed ethnic groups have survived more than six decades of struggle with the Burmese government.

This dedication contrasts to the Burmese approach, which threatens ethnic people in order to maintain the upper hand.  The government peace committee is using the same approach now in the political sphere, insisting that the armed ethnic groups form a political party, contest in elections, and enter parliament, despite ethnic leaders not wanting to support the 2008 constitution.  The more they push and pressure the armed ethnic groups, the more fragile the peace process becomes.

Feedback From
Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 6:20 AM
Name of sender: Lina
Email of sender: keng4e65@mail.ru
COMMENTS : Actually it looks like a joint statement since they didn't take quenoitss which were probably not allowed.But indeed that video is remarkable. 2 of the top female political figures in the world, with their long track records of tireless service for the betterment of citizenry's it's pretty much irrefutable when they outline necessary next steps for Burma.The Junta had to know it was buying in to such a message, that would make it's way to the world. So it must perceive that it is approaching a dead end, days numbered if they don't change, etc.Suu Kyi referred the the calibrated US approach to engaging Burma matching a positive action with a positive action that would lead to lifting of sanctions and eventual normalization of relations if the Junta delivers more reforms and releases it's political prisoners.This is how you use diplomacy to push change and progress, and it's authors this time are very squarely Obama & Clinton. Bush Republicans would have missed it, and not tried.
COMMENT


More articles from issue 04/2 More articles from issue 02/3
More articles from issue 04/2

- Divide of Opinion on Proposed Change to Burma’s Electoral System

- Armed Ethnic Conflict Potential Unlike Sri Lanka but Strong Ceasefire Agreements Still Needed for Efficient Peace Process

- Conference and Photography exhibit highlight Dangers of Dawei Seaport

- Land confiscation issue in Mon State addressed in Burma’s Parliament

- More Calls for Political Party Unification as New MDP Office Opens

- Dengue Outbreak in Mon State

- Mon Must Be Ruled by Mon (Interview)

- President To Offer Limited Rights To Teach Mon Language

- Government Denies Permission to Mark Martyr's Day in Ye Township

- “I do not want to let it Burn down like a Mon Monastery” says Ashin Nyanissara

- Mon Education Donations Don’t Reach MLCC Goal

- From Burma to Myanmar: Restoration of Burman Imperial Identity

- MNDF Party Returns after 22 Years with New Name

- AMDP Disagree To Join MDP

- 80 Families Forced To Move in Three Pagodas Pass Township

- NMSP Questions Effectiveness of Ethnic Conference

- Peace and National Army For Mon People

- Mon in Sangkhlaburi Celebrates Culture and Urges Preservation

- Aung Min promises “Death Railway” Reconstruction to Begin After Rain Subsides

- Peace Process Can’t Proceed Without Suu Kyi

- Anti-Drug Day Names Three Pagodas Pass as Key Drug Trafficking Corridor

- Low Salaries and Teaching Restrictions Pose Risks to Mon Literature and Language

- Government Using Development Projects to Eliminate Enemies, Says NMSP

- Rohingya Boat People Imprisoned by Burmese Immigration Authorities

- Mon to Prepare for Ethnic Constituency in Rangoon

- NMSP Holds Community Meeting in Sangkhlaburi

- The Role of Women in Local Peace and Development in Monland

- Still No Justice for Victim of Alleged Police Brutality

- MDP Travels to Naypyidaw to Receive Official Registration

- Can Enemies Become Friends?

- Security Concerns and Cancelled Speaking Engagements can't Dampen Jubilant Crowds at Suu Kyi Visit

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