Ending Burmese civil war is top priority
James Lum Dau - BANGKOK.
The Nation - Nov 17, 2000.

It is an encouragement for me to frequently read in your newspapers that people from neighbouring democracies and from faraway countries continue in good faith to seek various avenues to restore peace and democracy in Burma.

Universally, it can be observed that in any country where there is an ongoing civil war, there is no justice, human rights or democracy, and it is natural that a similar situation also prevails in Burma.

Based on an understanding of the above factors, and without placing blame on one or the other party, one should only look for a way to end the civil war in Burma. I believe that this can only be achieved through mutual forgiveness between individuals as many countries in the West were finally able to do to restore democracy.

Similarly, if you scrutinise and analyse Burma's affairs, you will be aware that success in the important matter - the practical and basic one of ending the civil war - must be the first priority in any plan. Only after achieving a nation-wide cease-fire and peace in the country, can one proceed to establish food subsistence, reconciliation and harmony and then move on to establish democracy, drug eradication measures and other matters.

As a matter of fact, I wish to see the restoration of democracy in Burma succeed within a short period as in some other countries However, in Burma's case, without building a strong foundation as mentioned above, it may difficult to prevail in building democracy.