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Restoring justice through healing political trauma towards National Reconciliation in Myanmar: Practices and options to the diverse people of Burma / Myanmar

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Part Three;
Peace agreements signed by ethnic armed leaders and the government of Myanmar merely addressed the political wounds but the process is desirable to the stakeholders in terms of addressing access to resources and local autonomy in each region. Our leaders have to lay down a new framework on national reconciliation including healing the trauma and providing victims welfare for the rest of the remaining life cycle. It shall be a national program on rehabilitation to the victims regardless of race and religion. The ICRC, IRCT and other international programs are well designed to address these services to clients. As, Lahpai Seng Raw (2016), A Kachin Academia and Advocate asserts that ‘We face many future challenges that can only be met and overcome if we accept shortcomings and possible concessions but stand united in our common vision for just and peaceful change. We must carry on – even in the face of setbacks or minimal progress – if we truly wish to free our citizens from the yoke of war, poverty and injustice and establish a democratic federal state, regaining the rights of our peoples and a respected place for our country in the modern world’.

A long road to recovery from past political trauma:
After long overdue acknowledgement of the impact of political trauma experienced by our own people nation-wide, at least we have been speaking the language of ‘equality, peace, unity and reconciliation’ in our own terms during the past few years. We are informed by the scholars and other experts on Burma that it is in the best interest for our country to make greater awareness on the ‘norm and principle’ of social and cultural rights, civil and political rights in our laws. I propose to the new government that from the starting point, the Government of Myanmar ratifies ‘International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the General Assembly on 21 December 1965. This guiding document paves a good way to heal national reconciliation, unity and peace for the nation.

Map of Myanmar/Burma with major ethnic groups (Photo: the Economist)
Map of Myanmar/Burma with major ethnic groups (Photo: the Economist)

I was born in a Mon speaking poor farmer’s family in Mon State but I was able to enjoy the freedom of movement in the village as a child. However, when I left my village for other places in order to learn Burmese, subsequently I found that I was mocked by Burmese friends because I could not speak Burmese. This was the sign of racial discrimination in the early 1980s that I encountered in the country. Our leaders, activists and ethnic armed fighters have been using words such as ‘peace, unity and equality’ including Bamar’s leaders in their own time but they have failed to practice it as they preach to the world through the global media. Therefore, healing the wound of our own political trauma shall be the best medicine that we ought to take for the next five hundreds days if, our nation seeks for lasting peace for the common people in our own land.

As this week, the third week of April, the government of Myanmar released over 80 political prisoners as the New Year falls on 17 April in (1378 BE). The picture of joy, celebration and resilience of the people of our country have been on displayed during five days national holidays.

Our common bonding people and land:

In 1378, BE (2016- 2017), our leaders have enjoyed the support our people but won the election with the mandate under democratic rules. I advocate for healing the trauma of our people from individuals and nation wide to restore our faith, not only to the leaders, but to ourselves. Finally, our leaders would be seeking opportunity to apologise to the victims on behalf of the State’s official perpetrators from the past. This is the start of the journey to healing our new nation and new unity of people in our own land. A national reconciliation program is meaningless unless individuals or communities of this nation heal their wounds and are resilient in making our own destiny for better living in peace, care and kindness to one another as we pray the word ‘mitta’ every day.

The land we live on will be the land left for the next inhabitants but the suffering of past inhabitants shall not be transferred to the new generations. Humans only resolve their own problems through wisdom. This is the message to the readers. Our past history is rich but we shall be sharing the truth of our human endeavour on the ‘rightfulness’ of thinking, acting and living with a sense of justice, caring and sharing the burden of our community and social welfare of the people in one homeland.

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