Commentary on “Tatmadaw likens Arakan Army demands to ‘a child daydreaming’”

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Sai Wansai
Sai Wansai

What Major-General Soe Naing Oo, chair of the Tatmadaw’s True News Information Team, said at a press briefing in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday to discuss recent fighting with the AA needs to be scrutinized.

He said: “With the thoughts of a child daydreaming, some of the armed groups are asking for what is impossible,” adding, “don’t ask for impossible things.”

Asserting the rights of self-determination, equality, democracy within the mold of a federal union is neither a childish dream nor a demand on the Bamar-dominated civilian-military government. The Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and the Ethnic Political Parties (EPPs) are not demanding but trying to negotiate their birthrights values and needs to be able to live harmoniously together, in a “unity in diversity” peaceful co-existence atmosphere.

In other words, the Bamar-dominated civilian-military government is not a “giver” or a body that holds absolute power to distribute the said values and needs, but only a “negotiation partner” so that all ethnic nationalities, including the Bamar ethnic group, could cohabit and coexist according to the political settlement that is to be worked out through negotiation.

The military and the government should not indulge in paternalistic attitude of a master-slave relationship vis a vis the non-Bamar ethnic nationalities. At the same time, the EAOs and EPPs themselves should not be cowed or misplace their role and entertain the idea of asking from someone, as it is their birthright rights of self-determination and it doesn’t belong to anybody else.

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