The fourth session of the Union Peace Conference-21st Century Panglong began in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with a pledge to sign the Union Accord in three parts. Hence, the fourth session of the Union Peace Conference has become a milestone in our country’s history of peacemaking and national reconciliation, inspired by the aspirations of the people for over seven decades. In fact, building peace is a noble task and mission. Building peace in our country does not mean just silencing guns and bombs. It is also committed to eliminating the root cause of the mindset leading to “evil habit of politics”, which relies on the force of arms to win over others. This is the ultimate goal of the peacemakers. Just signing a truce cannot guarantee peace, since the truce can collapse the next day, unless we have conquered the politics of evil. To bring eternal peace to our country we need to make efforts and have the political will to destroy the mindset of the politics of evil. Only then will we deserve to be “peace builders”.
To achieve this mission, just sitting at a negotiation table is not enough. The word “negotiation” is beautiful, in term of meaning, but if those who sit at the negotiating table are not willing to seek answers or to break deadlocks, then we will never reach our ultimate destination. As we negotiate to reach common agreements on issues where our views differ, we must recognize that courtesy is not weakness, and negotiating is not giving concessions. Honesty, trust, awareness and wisdom are necessary for negotiations to succeed.
Rather than focusing on problems that can exacerbate our differences, we must seek to identify those issues which can help to strengthen unity between us. Through dialogue, we can develop understanding, friendship, and empathy. We must cultivate the culture of negotiation in our country, while keeping true and resolute in our quest for total peace, though it is difficult to relinquish those evil habits which have taken root in our culture. Through negotiations, let’s build a political culture which can replace the politics of evil.