ASIA/MYANMAR - Religious leaders: "Peace is the common good"

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 peace   justice   religious minorities   religious freedom   religious fundamentalism   reconciliation   ethnic minorities  

Yangon (Agenzia Fides) - Peace is the supreme good for all citizens and all communities in Myanmar: says a heartfelt appeal to political and military leaders launched by a group of Burmese religious leaders, including Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon. In the document, sent to Fides by the Cardinal himself, says: "We, representatives of all religions living in Myanmar appeal to political leaders, military leaders and armed groups, so that they seek the path of reconciliation and peace as a common good of all people".
Religious leaders are concerned about the new clashes in the civil conflict among the armed groups of ethnic minorities and the Burmese army in the states of Kachin and Karen, as well as for new religious violence against the Muslim minority Rohingya in Arakan state, which broke out right after the national conference on ethnic minorities organized in September by the Burmese government.
The text sent to Fides emphasizes the elements of hope: "Democracy is in its early days. We had a new Panglong conference with the participation of all minority groups. Our country is courted by the world. Millions of tourists arrive to visit this country every year. We have had peaceful elections, we have a legitimate parliament. President Daw Su leads the nation with confidence and wisdom. Our dreams are slowly becoming reality. We deeply appreciate all those who worked for it".
But there are downsides: "The nightmare of war continues. There are more than 200,000 internally displaced people. New conflicts are added to old ones. The presence of refugees proliferates the human trafficking, the phenomenon of drugs and violence threatens to explode in communities. Internal conflicts have caused chronic suffering to thousands of people, discouraging human development and have caused much animosity".
Religious leaders recall that in 1947, General Aung San, Prime Minister of the first government of the nation, "had the foresight to involve everyone in the dialogue, exploring the agreement factors first and leaving the contentious issues later. Aung San favored a federal solution".
The text continues: "We appeal to all of you, political leaders of the National League for Democracy, the military chiefs, leaders of armed groups, ethnic political parties and civil society groups, to explore a common policy for conflict resolution. We call on all the religious leaders so that they are an instrument of peace. Myanmar needs one religion today: that is peace, it is our common religion". "We are brothers and sisters. It is urgent to stop wars and build peace and justice for all", he concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/11/2016)