Let our future steps be regular ones!

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  • By Khin Maung Oo
  • Myanmar which gained her independence from colonial rule in 1948 had to inherit the evil historical legacy of internal armed conflicts right after independence. Doubts and hatred left by imperialists caused armed conflicts and flaming civil wars among our national brethren who breathe the same air and live on the same soil, claiming thousands of lives. And, hundreds of thousands of people in warring areas have been affected by the scourge of war for many decades.
    Though successive governments have made attempts to bring about a nationwide ceasefire and internal peace through many ways, it came to nothing. Yet, after the democratic people’s government took office, it tried in earnest to solve political problems through political means, apart from other ways and means. As a result, a ceasefire agreement between the government and 14 national ethnic armed groups was successfully signed. But, just by signing a ceasefire agreement it is not sufficient enough to move towards long-lasting peace. It was an implementation of a peace process for reaching an agreement to stop fighting during the period of holding political negotiations and finding solutions for political problems.
    Under the process, for success of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement—NCA, Joint Monitoring Committee—JMC was formed, with Union Peace Dialogues Joint Committee—UPDJC formed for implementing political negotiations. Terms and acronyms may confuse ordinary people, but in general, we must keep in our minds that “NCA, that is, process bound for eternal peace is under way. Meanwhile, fighting will be stopped and a committee will monitor as to whether the ceasefire agreement is really being kept by those concerned. Simultaneously, political dialogues are to be held for the achievement of eternal peace.” Now, the ceremony to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the NCA has been held in Nay Pyi Taw on the 15th of October 2017.
    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Chairperson of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center gave a speech at the ceremony marking the 2nd anniversary of the NCA, “In fact, the NCA is not an end in itself, but just the first step towards national reconciliation in the country. I would like to reiterate that the NCA opens the door for political dialogues which will pave the way to the Union Peace Conference. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who made great efforts leading to the establishment of the NCA including former President U Thein Sein.”
    The NCA process is meant to find solutions at the round-table negotiations, instead of fighting one another. It is none other than using our knowledge and intellect instead of physical strength and martial prowess. The NCA is not a one-sided prescription. Instead, it is the result of negotiations with the Government based on submissions from armed ethnic groups. The NCA came into being with the following characteristics—patience, broadmindedness, sacrifices and respective fulfillment of duties.
    The NCA is not the final destination yet, but it has managed to reduce conflicts in the NCA signatory areas, which has resulted in uplifting the socio-economic lives of the local people. Let us try our best to take our future steps with firmness and regularity.
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