Indonesia may be Myanmars place for learning democracy, pluralism

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesias Foreign Minister RetnoMarsudi met with Myanmars Information Minister U PeMyint here on Wednesday as part of Indonesias efforts to help settle problems in Rakhine.

“Myanmar could use Indonesia as a laboratory to learn the process of democratization, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence in a plural society,” Retno said.

The minister on the occasion also reiterated Indonesias commitment to continue supporting the process of democratization and reconciliation as well as inclusive development in Myanmar.

She said that as a neighboring country and common members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Indonesia wishes to work together with Myanmar in dealing with the problems in Rakhine.

“The settlement of problems in the Rakhine State requires inclusive economic development process and success in the reconciliation process through confidence building among community members. The task of the Myanmar government is to create a conducive situation to create harmony, stability and peace,” she added.

Retno conveyed various steps that have been taken by the government of Indonesia in Myanmar, especially in Rakhine.

During the past two months, the Indonesian foreign minister had visited Myanmar thrice and Bangladesh once to meet Buddhist and Islamic communities there, as well as UN representatives in Myanmar.

She said Indonesia plans to support increasing capacity building in Rakhine in the mid-term and long-term, such as through teachers and nurses education program, development of health facilities such as mobile clinics, development of peace marketplace, and inter-faith and community dialogues.

“It is hoped that these steps could create a conducive situation and confidence among different communities to achieve peace, stability and inclusive development,” she stated.

Retno also conveyed the Indonesian governments cooperation plan between the two countries police and armed forces to increase professionalism and capacity.

“Based on Indonesias experience, professional armed forces are very important to safeguard process of democratization,” she said.

U PeMyint was flanked by a delegation of central and regional government officials, members of parliament, Islam and Buddhist community leaders, as well as the chief of the Rakhine States Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the visit.

The visit was made in cooperation with Harvard Kennedy School for Democracy and aimed at increasing capacity and experience sharing for the process of reconciliation, peace and democracy in Myanmar.

U PeMyint said he shared the view of Harvard Kennedy School for Democracy representative that Indonesia was the right “classroom” for Myanmar to learn democratization and reconciliation.

He expressed appreciation to the government of Indonesia for the solidarity it has shown and the various kinds of concrete assistance it has given to support the process of democracy, reconciliation and development in Myanmar.

The Myanmar delegation has also been scheduled to hold a discussion with Indonesian non-governmental organizations and visit communities in Ambon, Maluku, to learn directly from their experience on how to settle community and religious conflicts there.

“This program is also part of Indonesias support to the inclusive development efforts in Myanmar,” Retno concluded.

Source: Antara News