State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has said that peace is the top priority for the country noting that the country had suffered due to civil wars and without peace, there can be no development.
The State Counsellor was speaking at the opening of the ‘Forum on Myanmar’s Democratic Transition’ in Nay Pyi Taw. The forum has been organised by the Ministry of Information with support from a host of global and local partners.
Several ministers and lawmakers, leaders of civil society groups, media practitioners, business leaders and veteran civil servants and representatives from Myanmar military were joined by a number of international participants that includes Indonesian Lt General (retd) Agus Widjojo, former Vice Chairman of the Indonesia and Tentara Nasional Indonesia’s (TNI) Chief of Territorial Affairs and, one of its leading intellectuals.
Ambassadors from India, Norway and Singapore and other diplomats, UN functionaries and leading academics specialising on Myanmar will join the intense deliberations at the Forum.
Six plenary sessions bringing together more than thirty speakers will be followed by as many ‘winding-up’ interactive sessions that will seek out views from a cross section of more than 450 participants that would include special observers from foreign governments and global bodies who support Myanmar’s transition to democracy.
Information Minister, Dr Pe Myint noted during his opening address that Myanmar’s democracy is still a hybrod democracy while Michael Vatikiotis from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue pointed out that there was no single blueprint for a successful transition. The world is too diverse. Myanmar’s context is unique, he said.
Renata Nicola Lok-Dessallien from the UN warned that " Many democratic processes lose their way. We get corrupt, illiberal and fake democracies ."
U Thaung Tun, National Security Advisor concurred saying “Many countries trying democracy failed. Many leaders in these countries morphed into dictators."
The Forum, running over three days, is seen as both a stock taking exercise in Myanmar’s transition to democracy and hope to identify the hurdles that confront the complex process and chart out a roadmap for the future.