New book essential reading for all

Burma News International (BNI) launched the book Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process: A Reference Guide on Monday 18 March at the Bangkok based, Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.

The 184-page book presents key aspects of the country’s 60-year civil war, including the fundamental causes, the Burma’s government’s peace plan and who the key stakeholders are – including ethnic armed groups and the peace brokers.

BNI point out that the book is an “indispensable tool for media and other stakeholders who need the straight facts about the state of the conflicts and peace negotiations.”

Nan Paw Gay, editor-in-chief of the Karen Information Center said that the book is an essential reference not only for journalists, but also for all who are involved in the various ceasefire processes now taking place in Burma.

“The reference book is useful for all those working in all levels of media, politics, governments, ceasefire groups, community groups and activists. Even though there are as many as 13 armed groups who have already agreed to a ceasefire with the government, many people do not understand the meaning of a ceasefire or how to participate in the process.”

Nan Paw Gay explained that the ceasefires had yet to deliver any real benefits to people.

“Land confiscation, development issues, new land laws and decisions by government departments are big challenges and could lead to derailing the longterm peace process. All those involved in the ceasefires have to be transparent and to abide by agreed codes of conduct. Otherwise, it risks reigniting the civil war.”

BNI is an alliance of 11 independent media organizations, nine of which represent different ethnic groups from within Myanmar.

BNI says it is “uniquely placed to present a comprehensive perspective of the various facets of the situation.”

The speakers who launched the book included Nan Paw Gay, editor-in-chief of the Karen Information Center, Mr Khuensai Jaiyen, chief editor of Shan Herald Agency for News, and Mr Sai Lek, BNI’s Peace Process Monitoring coordinator.

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