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BURMA'S NATIONWIDE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT: JUST SAY NO!
September 11, 2015
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The Ethnic Armed Organization leaders have just concluded a meeting with Burma's military dictatorship, and now they are being pressured to agree to yet another meeting, this time for the NCA signing, and without having had their demands for inclusiveness or a functional and verifiable ceasefire satisfied. Not only that, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing even went so far as to shout his contempt for the ethnic nationality peoples. Instead of attending the meeting, he went shopping in Israel for new weapons systems with which to attack the ethnic armed groups. Talk about nerve (and shame on Israel!): Demanding a ceasefire at the same time that you shop for new weapons to use when you break it.
The actions of the ethnic traitors notwithstanding (Mutu Say Poe, Kwe Htoo Win, Harn Yawnghwe, Htoo Htoo Lay, etc.), it is beyond belief that anyone reasonable would choose to sign now. In addition to the blatant regime aggression - attacks on at least four different EAO units on the day of the Naypyidaw meeting (no doubt approved personally by Min Aung Hlaing), there is also the election to consider. Aung San Suu Kyi has counseled the EAOs to be careful about signing, and only to sign when they are certain that the ceasefire will yield a durable peace. More importantly - and also less widely recognized, she further said that if the NLD wins the election (on its own or with other pro-democracy parties), it will be supportive of the ethnic nationality concerns.
Her message couldn't be more obvious. Sign now with your sworn enemy and who can never be trusted, or wait until after the election to talk to us, your friend and ally, and together we will achieve not only peace but a functioning federal democracy.
What a choice! It couldn't be simpler than choosing between putting your hand in a fire and eating ice cream. It's not even a choice at all.
Also, if the regime steals the election, then of course in retrospect it will have been a mistake to sign. By not signing now, not only will the EAOs put themselves in a position to talk to someone who is actually reasonable, they will guard against making this mistake.
Moreover, in the event that the election is stolen, this will end the hope that this path can lead to democracy. With that issue settled, the EAOs, the NLD and the other pro-democracy parties, and all the people of Burma, can finally unite to achieve freedom and democracy, and using means that really have a chance of success.
Given this choice, what would a reasonable person do? Sign now even though there is no trust and a virtual guarantee that the Burma Army will break the ceasefire, or wait until the path to freedom becomes clear?
What happens in the next two months with the NCA and the election will shape the future of Burma for years if not decades to come. The dictatorship and its international diplomatic cronies understand this only too well. That is why they are pushing the EAOs so hard. Signing now, before the election, means surrender, no less than waiving a white flag.