Responding through dialogue is democratic culture

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  • No one can predict what the New Year will bring. However, the first month of 2018 has seen good and bad events.
    In January, armed conflicts broke out in northern Myanmar, instigating deadly riots in MraukU.
    The good news was that the New Mon State Party-NMSP and the Lahu Democratic Union-LDU agreed to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement soon, following their promise on 24 December.
    Coinciding with the announcement, a dinner to mark the 71st Mon National Day was held in Nay Pyi Taw on 1 February and Mon National Day celebrations were held in Yangon and Mon State. Peace will prevail in Mon State soon. The dream of the people in Mon State will come true.
    Besides this, the second anniversary of the second Hluttaw was held on 1 February and the State Counsellor’s
    address at the ceremony has brought delight, hope and courage to the country.
    The bad news was the protest by the students of the University of Mandalay and its consequences. Since before independence, movements of students have played an important role in Myanmar, and so did the role of
    Buddhist monks. Similarly, the movement of the people in 1988 brought the country on the path to democracy.
    These changes resulted in the emergence of the civilian government elected by the people today. However, the more than 20-year-old journey was not a bed of roses. To reach this position today, many struggled for more than 20 years, facing oppression. We should have a deep understanding of the fact that the current political climate is different from the past. Representatives elected by the people are making laws in the Hluttaw.
    Today, no one can decide a law in one sitting. Students and those who want to work in the interest of the country need to lobby with the Hluttaw, and the Hluttaws have kept open their lobby doors to listen to the voices of the people. This manner of negotiation or dialogue is better than making high demands that can plunge the country into crisis. Democracy is a culture of dialogue.
    Students, actually, are willing to consider the interest of the country and its people. Similarly, the people who are now in the government and the Hluttaw have also struggled for democracy for decades. Hence, the path of dialogue is the key to solving issues.
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