Multi-ethnic and multi-religious Myanmar is trying to solve many protracted conflicts
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Myanmar and the armed forces of this nation are trying to restore order, foster greater ties with regional nations and further afield, and maintain the democratic path. However, the international media is focused on a pro-Bengali Muslim narrative and an Islamist agenda. Hence, while the United Nations partook on a four-day visit to this nation, the irony is that it was mainly Christians who were fleeing and fighting the central government. Therefore, it is strange why the Bengali Muslim land grab in Rakhine is gaining enormous sympathy, while the plight of indigenous ethnic groups and religious minorities are both being overlooked.
It must be stressed that the government of Myanmar and the armed forces are seeking solutions and genuine dialogue. Hence, some positives have happened in recent times because some armed combatants have come on board and are now dealing directly with central forces. This is based on the democratic path that is being taken by Myanmar and the sincerity of the politically astute Aung Suu Kyi. At the same time, Myanmar is pulling out all the stops in the realm of economics by garnering greater trade deals with a plethora of nations throughout the Asia Pacific. This reality is witnessed by China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and other nations, all seeking to increase trade and open-up new business developments with Myanmar.
The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Myanmar, Min Aung Hlaing, stated several months ago, “The Tatmadaw [army] acts and do their tasks under the international laws, rules and regulations. And, action is exactly taken against discipline breakers under the law. These situations happened in northern Rakhine State due to terror acts of extremist Bengali terrorists.”
More importantly, the Senior General, who knows the importance of solving the many protracted ethnic issues that have blighted Myanmar, is fully focused on federalism and multi-party democracy. Hence, he pointedly mentioned that more than 130 diverse ethnic groups reside in the shared space of this nation. Therefore, it is essential that all armed combatants opposed to central forces take a brave step forward and focus on genuine dialogue.
The Senior General said, “Instead of pointing to the past and finding fault… it’s time to learn the lessons of the past and to work for the country’s development.”
It should be stressed that the Bengali Muslim land grab isn’t unique to Rakhine in Myanmar. After all, the same Bengali Muslim land grab exists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh and in Assam in India. Therefore, the British legacy of betraying Buddhism and Hinduism throughout the region was the main factor in cutting up “mother India” and encouraging the Bengali Muslim land grab. Hence, the Bengali Muslim crisis in parts of Bangladesh (Chittagong Hill Tracts), India, and Myanmar is based on the deplorable legacy of the British.
The Senior General also notified the world that it is the armed forces of Myanmar that are involved in several protracted conflicts. Therefore, he is focused on protecting the highly respected Aung Suu Kyi and trying to free the central government. Also, of utmost importance, Aung Suu Kyi reminded the UN delegation that military dictatorship and the rule of law were both asunder for decades. Indeed, in this light, and with Myanmar being focused on the path of democracy and forging closer economic ties with a plethora of nations, then the defacto leader of the civilian government should be praised for her leadership.
Modern Tokyo Times stated in a past article, “… the Senior General emphasized federalism, multi-party democracy, the need to develop the nation in economic terms, for ethnic armed militias to sign up to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, and other important areas that will strengthen the nation-state. Hence, his speech provided a potent base to move forward on many fronts, while acknowledging past external threats to the nation.”
Overall, despite the situation calming down in relation to combatting Sunni Islamist terrorists in Rakhine, the media spin continues with the “Muslim card” being played. Yet, this fact, and the UN delegation focusing on its own narrow agenda in Myanmar, once more highlights the lack of sincerity towards other ethnic groups. Therefore, the international community needs to work with Myanmar – and this is happening regionally and further afield – despite negative statements being made by the usual Western and Islamic nations that ignore their brutal sponsoring of countless wars.
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