Singapore and Norway envoys discuss Myanmar’s path to democracy

Singapore envoy to Myanmar, Robert Chua. Photo: Min Min/Mizzima

On Sunday, Singapore and Norwegian envoys to Myanmar took part in a panel to discuss the international view of Myanmar’s path to democracy.

Singapore envoy and Ambassador Robert Chua called upon all elements of Myanmar society to work for a consensus on the road ahead for the country.

“It is always better to have a consensus rather than get entangled in endless conflicts or to complain endlessly,” Mr Chua told the ‘Forum on Myanmar Democratic Transition.”

The Norwegian envoy Tone Tinnes also voiced her opinion on how Myanmar shall move forward: “Compromise and acknowledgement of diversity is the key to solving Myanmar’s decades of conflict. Mutual respect is important.”

However, Myanmar, she pointed out, faces many challenges, such as the peace process, economic development and issues related to freedom, which are very demanding. “Progress in one area will affect others,” she added, without elaborating.

The Singapore envoy called for ‘national unity’ during the session, which was moderated by Mizzima Editor in Chief Soe Myint.

“To use a football term, let me call for a Myanmar United. You have suffered enough strife and it is time for a peace dividend,” Chua said. “It is time to initiate a process of national reconciliation.”

Furthermore, it was argued that the country still has a long way to go before democracy will be implemented.

“We don’t want to be trapped in the past,” Phyo Zeyar Thaw, National League for Democracy (NLD) Member of Parliament, said. “Police is trying to reform themselves, but we have to scrap some of the laws that fuel oppression.”

Fellow NLD MP Aung Kyi Nyut said he was happy but not satisfied with the achievements. “We sacrificed a lot, so people expect much from us. People will judge us from what we have achieved, and media will be involved in that process,” Aung Kyi Nyut, Member of Parliament.

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