Shortly after my book, The Peace Prescription, came out in late 2009, the leaders of the two main warring sides in Burma (aka Myanmar) in that then raging civil war, followed the plan on pages 8 and 9 and the civil war calmed down. And, for a few years, the civil war mainly ended. That plan called for the leaders of the pro-democracy forces and of the military dictator forces then in power, to meet and agree that neither side should have to be afraid of annihilation by the other, and that both sides could work together in a joint government that would re-introduce progressively increasing democracy. That plan was also spelled out in a couple of my Internet blogs in late 2009 and early 2010. Ant that’s what happened!
Was the almost immediate following, of the plan I had recommended, coincidental, done by the leaders of the two main warring factions without any knowledge of my suggestions? I don’t know, but I am very happy that it happened.
But, in the past couple of years violent conflicts between the multi-tribal, multi-ethnic groups, and central forces, have increased. So, one more step is needed for a more complete end to the decades-old civil war violence with all the deaths, injuries and disruption and prevention of normal living conditions.
Each faction’s leaders should make a list of all the changes in governance that their faction would like to see happen. The central governing factions need to be involved as well. When each faction has completed its list, it is then time to have a meeting to be attended by at least one representative of every faction. Copies of the lists should be distributed to all attendees. Those lists should include the goals that each faction would like to see happen for Burma (Myanmar), such as non-violence, freedom to trade, travel and visit throughout the country, freedom to participate in truly democratic elections. and more.
Ideally, these lists should be emailed among all the leaders of all the factions prior to the meeting, so that all attendees can come to the in-person meeting with lists of what each faction agrees with and disagrees with, and each representative can present alternative solutions for items disagreed with.
Revenge killings back and forth only lead to what Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye only leads to everyone being blind.”
With proper bargaining, negotiating, trading and making deals, happier, healthier and more prosperous times will be in Burma’s future.