Power to the - Partners Asia
Power to the
For Partners Asia, peace is a tangible quest — a goal with
legs, hands, and hearts behind it on the ground in Myanmar.
Supporting emerging peace networks is our urgent campaign
for 2015, as the country’s critical elections near.
Power to the Peacemakers
hy peace, among so many other urgent
needs? Because alongside the country’s
new openness is a darker story. Myanmar
is witnessing inter-ethnic violence and continued
fighting in minority areas. Skirmishes have
displaced more than 470,000 people in Rakhine
and Kachin States and along the border area with
Thailand. Sectarian violence against the Muslim
minorities has been increasing.
Development itself is creating some of the tension
— new laws on land, taxation, and investment are
prioritizing profits over people. Workers are sacked
for demanding their rights. Farmers are thrown
off their land. Villagers can no longer use water
polluted by mining and other enterprises.
These events have led Partners Asia to join a
growing network of groups working for peace
and religious and ethnic tolerance. These peace
networks have planned a range of change-making
events, and they’ve also developed the capacity
to respond quickly to other opportunities that can
promote peace. Their efforts include peace and
leadership training for youth, using social media to
spread peace messages and responding with the
true backstories when rumors threaten to escalate
into violence. Innovative, energetic leaders and
educators are working hard to push back against
the tide of sectarian violence that risks reaching a
flashpoint as elections near.
The window of opportunity to
make this happen is now. The
PHOTOS: VASSI KOUTSAFTIS, ARCLIGHT-PICTURES.COM, JOHN LYONS
support of grassroots peace
organizations in Myanmar is how.
There is widespread belief that forces behind
the violence are deliberately creating instability
in order for the military to play a key role in
Myanmar’s political future. Much of the anger and
anxiety of this transition is intentionally directed
towards minorities. As the elections slated for
late 2015 approach, a massive effort is needed to
ensure that this violence does not escalate.
Partners Asia is uniquely positioned to do this
work because of our extensive history and
partnerships. We invite you to join this quest for
peace at this critical time.
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