Generally speaking, independence means regaining lost sovereignty, territorial integrity, and liberty. Independence is peace and vice versa. No one can deny the fact that Myanmar is an independent and sovereign country. But peace still eludes the nation.
Without peace, the taste of independence, the fruits of independence, liberty, and living in harmony are dreams for citizens. During the WW II, people across the globe suffered the brunt of violent battles. As a consequence of the war, people had to live in dire poverty.
In the wake of the war, many nations became independent. At that time, independence was not always complete. While there were some countries enjoying full independence, there were also countries enjoying only quasi-independence. This situation can be seen even in this day and age. Wherever it is so, independence cannot be said to be full-fledged.
There are several countries in the present such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen which face a constant threat of war and terrorist attacks, and therefore, these non-peaceful countries cannot be said to be enjoying full independence. In such countries, instability prevails and national security is threatened.
The IS still poses a threat to Syria and Libya, the Al Qaeda to West Algeria, and extremists to Afghanistan. Due to the terrorist threat and regional instability, countries in the Middle East and northern Africa are unable to enjoy the taste of peace. Foreign investors are reluctant to invest in these countries, and as a result, their economies are suffering and their people are feeling hopeless.
Although Myanmar has not enjoyed peace fully, it is fortunate that conditions here are better than in some other countries. But, the loss in terms of development is the same. Remote and far flung areas in the country are far behind the urban areas when it comes to development as well as security. The sound of gun fire, a product of armed conflict, still threatens lives in these areas.
There are 18 armed groups in Myanmar acknowledged by the government. Of them, 10 have agreed to a ceasefire. Now, efforts are being made to ensure ceasefire with the remaining groups.
Recently, the Tatmadaw announced the suspension of military operations in the respective operation areas for four months and ten days. The move was welcomed by the ethnic armed groups, as well as international community. It was good news for the people, too.
The move paves the way for peace, which has eluded Myanmar for more than seventy years. This is a good sign moving forward. We firmly believe that a peaceful dialogue, instead of armed conflict, will surely bring peace to the country, making its independence complete.