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Peace and reconciliation in Myanmar

· World Council of Churches appeal ·

Greater ecumenical commitment from Churches for a response to conflicts, greater involvement and Christian participation in communities for reconciliation and for the construction of peace in Myanmar and throughout the world. This sums up the message launched at an international consultation which took place in Yangon, Myanmar on the theme “Peace, Security and Reconciliation in Myanmar”. It was organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the Christian Conference of Asia and the Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC).

Many religious leaders took part in the event at which Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi said that profound acceptance of the others and a willingness to be open to unity in diversity will uphold values of reconciliation, peace and security in any society and community.
In her discourse Aung San Suu Kyi emphasized that “one should go beyond the borders of hatred and jealousy, only then can one think of reconciliation and peace. Reconciliation will not begin only in one direction. Once reconciliation is achieved then only peace can be attained and security can be guaranteed. A society that cannot achieve reconciliation will not be peaceful”.
Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest for more than 15 years until her last release in November 2010, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 but was only able to receive the prize in Oslo in June this year. During the ceremony for the presentation, in her speech of thanks Suu Kyi affirmed that full political freedom in her country is still a long way off. “For me receiving the Nobel Peace Prize means extending my concerns about democracy and human rights beyond the national borders, The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart”.
During the consultation the participants reasserted several times the need to develop new strategies for building peace in Myanmar, avoiding hatred and resentment.

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