Commentary on “Panglong, then and now, and the promise of peace”

If looking for an acceptable equilibrium should be the way to achieve peace, then the prevailing difference of concept on how this country, the "Union of Burma" comes into being in 1948 after the British left, needs to be first understood and eventually bridged.

In other words, while the Bamar political class and Military top brass acceptance and belief that Burma or Myanmar today stems from the liberation of the Burmese empire that the British colonized in the 18th century, the non-Bamar ethnic nationalities are convinced that it is a newly formed political entity, built with their voluntary participation on equal basis. Thus, the independence achieved from the British is seen as a co-independence owned by all ethnic nationalities, Bamar included, and with it also the co-ownership right of the country's sovereignty.

The 1947 Panglong Agreement is actually the genesis of founding the Union of Burma, which should be studied together with the 1947 Union of Burma Constitution and also the 1961 Federal Proposal of the ethnic nationalities, if the emergence of this new political entity is to be understood.

It make no sense to criticize that the Panglong Agreement is not comprehensive and that it should be disregarded, but just to make use of its "spirit" only.

The first United States Constitution in 1787 originally was only composed of single page, seven articles and since then have expanded with leaps and bounds, but no one ever has thought about nullifying it because it was incomprehensible. That is how the country's founding historical document should be treated.

Likewise, the Panglong Agreement of 1947 should also be treated as the country's founding historical document, together with the 1947 Union of Burma Constitution and also the 1961 Federal Proposal.

In short, the Bamar political elite, together with the ethnocentric Bamar military top brass shouldn't be consumed by their paternalistic attitude and believe that they have every right to replace the British colonial master and treat the non-Bamar ethnic nationalities as their colonial possessions.

If this conceptual correction and a sense of being equal to all the other ethnic groups could be instilled among the Bamar political class and the Military, all the rest of forging a common national identity, national unity, reconciliation and political settlement would follow, but not before the morally and ethically feasible adjustment as mentioned above are undertaken.

Link to the story:


Allwebsitetools © 2014 Shan Herald Agency for News All Rights Reserved