Commentary on "Never let it be like throwing water on the sand!"

The Global New Light of Myanmar opinion piece that asked critical question and as well, predicted scenario that could be met for failing to rid of ourselves from narrow-mindedness and short-term visions would be like throwing water on the sand, is worthy of further critical thinking.

First of all, if all parties involved in the whole political spectrum and military conflict are on the same page that we all are in the situation going down the path of throwing water into the sand, which literally means conflict scenario without end, or better, on the road to destruction.

If we are in agreement this continuing trend would put all of us - Bamar political class, Bamar military, ethnic political leadership and ethnic armed organizations, into a mutually destructive future of lose-lose scenario.

If the answer is a big “YES”, then we could continue to dwell on the hypothesis of finding a solution to this situation. But if one party or the other is of the opinion that it is capable of achieving a “win-lose” outcome that would benefit itself, we could disregard this solution-finding and go back to achieving result through conflict-employing mode.

This writer doesn't like to make judgment who is right and who is wrong at this stage. Suffice is to say that if all adversaries or negotiation partners are in agreement to find a solution through political means, on equal basis, we could continue to find ways for a political settlement.

Now let us say that finding a solution through political means is accepted literally in words and deeds, we now need to find some guidelines that are basic to peaceful negotiation that is being practiced in all political and armed conflict settlement.

Regarding our conflict situation, in a nutshell, we have political grievances that are embedded in the controversial constitution and political power distribution, or should we say “constitutional crisis”, and the other, the armed conflict that is, in fact, the ramification of the political grievances.

And in order to approach the solution stage, two thing is crucially essential: one is the “political will” or the vision that peaceful solution is the sole way out and the other, “treating all adversaries or negotiation partners as equal”.

The main flaw in the present government initiated peace process failed, as the said two factors were not seriously taken into account.

In concrete terms, the government and military should accept that their adversaries, particularly the ethnic armed and unarmed organizations' demands, which call for a shared-sovereignty, with equitable power-sharing, is a legitimate concern and not its (government and military) sole ownership domain or taken for granted as god-given.

Another most important factor to make the solution-finding feasible is to embrace that all negotiation partners are equal and not employing the government-military's attitude of paternalistic, where the all-powerful authority is negotiating the term of surrender to forcibly fit into its prescribed political mold, understood by the ethnic nationalities as Bamar ethnocentrism and watered down semblance of federal union anchored in unitary system of governance.

If this two major flaws could be corrected or overcome, there is every possibility that the scenario of throwing water into the sand could be diverted. Otherwise, we will be on our way to self-destruction, whether we like it or not.

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