ဥေရာပ သမဂၢႏွင့္ ဆက္စပ္ ေနသည့္ ဂ်ာမန္ ေဖာင္ေဒးရွင္း Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung မွ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး ကို လြဲမွား စြာ သံုးသပ္ထားပံု ႏွင့္ စစ္အစိုးရ အႀကိဳက္ ေျပာၾကား ထား သည့္ အစီရင္ခံစာ မိန္ ့ခြန္း Dr. Paul Pasch, Hotel Savoy, Yangon, 6 November 2009
ထို သံုးသပ္ေျပာၾကား သည့္ Seminar တြင္ ၂၀၀၇ ေရႊ၀ါေရာင္ ေတာ္လွန္ ေရး ကို လည္း လြဲမွားစြာ ညႊန္းဆိုထားသည္ ။
Mingalaba ! ! !
Lieber Herr Botschafter,
Kvod HaShagrir HaIsraeli, Shalom Haver Yaron,
Excellencies Ambassador Nyunt Maung Shein & Ambasador Nyunt Tin,
Ladies & Gentlemen
Dear Friends & Colleagues
It is with great honour that I welcome you all here today on behalf of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. I am very glad to see so many colleagues, friends and partners with whom I had the pleasure to work over the past five years. Since it is for the last time that I speak to you as the FES project director for Myanmar, I ask you to kindly endure with me for a little while, as I would like to share some of the highlights of FES’s project history in your country and in our relationship with you.
When I first came to Myanmar, the European Union had formulated a new Common Position in October 2004 and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung had mandated me to develop a new policy of constructive engagement with organisations in your country.
When I first came to Yangon in November 2004 the situation was quite challenging. A Prime Minister had been asked into early retirement only a few days back. And most people had a lot of questions with regard to the future of their country.
At the time I did - of course - not know any body in Yangon. So my first contacts were with the German Embassy, Dr. Khin San Yee from the Yangon Institute of Economics and Captain Wilk. During that trip I also paid my first visits to the Metta Development Foundation, the Shalom Foundation and the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies. It was a period of learning by doing: reading books and articles on the history and the development of the country, talking to people and trying to find out what strategy a German political foundation could develop, to be able to work in a country run by a military government.
The experiences of reconciliation within Europe have been guiding our engagement with and in Myanmar, in line with the Common Position of the European Union. With our development cooperation we hope to contribute to the advancement of all Myanmar people. Furthermore, we believe that a constructive engagement is a more promising approach than a policy of sanctions and isolation.
So when I came to Yangon in January 2005 for the second time we tried to open a dialogue with opposition parties in accordance with our standpoint to speak with all components of society - we were rewarded with some statements in the exile press. As a result I was black listed.
With the wise guidance and assistance of Ambassador U Nyunt Maung Shein in Berlin and Ambassador Dr. Wild in Yangon we developed a new advance and offered the Government a Dialogue on Myanmar and EU Relations. At the time your Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) was in the process of opening an Embassy in Brussels. So they were naturally interested.
Thus in September 2005 a conditional visa was granted, restricted to Yangon. Mandatory visits to the Union Solidarity and Development Association & the Myanmar Women Affairs Federation and a discussion with the protocol department of MoFA on a possible code of conduct took place. Long planned visits to the Myktina Offices of Shalom and Metta Development Foundations had to be postponed.
On that mission I was accompanied by Professor Michael von Hauff, a renown economist from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. He gave his first lectures at the Yangon Institute of Economics. At the time his teaching courses were already met with great interest. However, they had to be organised outside the University.
Shortly afterwards we were very happy to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Yangon Institute of Economics, the University of Kaiserslautern and FES. Ever since, the cooperation between these two universities has continuously developed. Prof. von Hauff is now a regular guest on the campus, teaches short courses, supervises PhD thesis’s and consults with researchers on modern methodologies for scientific research. Due to this experience he became a staunch advocate against sanctions against your country. His book on “Economic and Social Development in Myanmar – The Relevance of Reforms” has just been published in the second edition and is available here.
In addition FES grants one scholarship a year for a PhD candidate to spend a few months as a guest at the University of Kaiserslautern. So far this has been quite a successful programme. Ma Kay Thi Soe will defend her thesis – mainly written during her stay in Germany – in the coming days. We wish her good luck!
My gratitude goes to Prof. Michael von Hauff and Prof. Khin San Yee. Over all this years they were reliable partners and good company. The trilateral cooperation between the Yangon Institute of Economics, the University of Kaiserslautern and FES is the most important pillar of FES engagement in Myanmar.
As part of our confidence building measures we organised in November 2005 a Study visit on “Governing Institutions of the European Union” for a MoFA delegation to Brussels and Strasbourg which served as a door opener for the new Myanmar Embassy in Brussels and led to the establishment of our cooperation with the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies (MISIS).
In December 2005 we started with a conference series “What to do about Burma” for the interested German public in our conference center in Berlin. Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing, Dr Nay Win Maung and Professor Robert Taylor were among the speakers. Their inputs have been very valuable in many of our activities. Thank you very much!
At the beginning of 2006 my family and I moved to Kuala Lumpur. Around Thingaha (Water Festival) of that year we had the first family trip to Myanmar.
I started to come more frequently. First projects with the Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) and the NGO Gender Group started. May May Pyone and Khin Zar Naing helped me understand that Gender Mainstreaming in the Myanmar context is not about hanging men and women longi (cloth) next to each other on the washing line.
From the very beginning we supported the training of documentary film makers at the Yangon Film School. Many of you have seen some of the beautiful NGO films that have been produced lately. However, they also produce other films, which are worth of being shown at international film festivals and hopefully Myanmar TV.
Another project that we are supporting is the Myanmar Literature Project coordinated by Dr. Hans-Bernd Zöllner. Many of you have contributed by writing commentaries on the Nagani Library.
Lieber Dr. Zöllner, thank you very much for the fruitful cooperation over the last years and also for sharing your knowledge and insides on this country and its people with me.
In our cooperation with the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) we have conducted a series of events to seek to increase mutual understanding and explore possible areas of common ground. After the seminar “Role and Structure of the Governmental Institutions of the European Union” conducted in Brussels and Strasbourg for a delegation from the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2005 a series of FES-MISIS Track Two Workshops “Challenges and Perspectives for the Future of ASEAN and EU-Relations” in September 2006, March 2007 and October 2007 took place.
On the occasion of the visit of FES President Anke Fuchs to Myanmar in February of this year we continued our quest for common ground. The focus was on the policy of the European Union towards Myanmar with the goal to create a better understanding of the interested Myanmar audience on the different perceptions of the various governing institutions of the European Union. This is a dialogue among academics, scholars, the business community, Government officials and the media.
Yesterday we conducted a very successful workshop on “Public Administration” with participants from various Government ministries.
Trust and confidence between the two sides has been developed over the years. This enables the participants to hold frank discussions in an informal setting. Issues such as the attempts to fight against drug production, child soldiers, trafficking of people, money laundering and forced labour as well as the challenges in the health and education sector have been frequently discussed. The FES-MISIS Workshop series has provided an alternative channel of communication and thus complements government-to-government contacts. The advantage of track two meetings is that participants can interact unconstrained by official rhetoric’s. This makes it easier to build confidence and achieve a high level of frankness in the discussion. Ultimately, civil society actors can help clarify government positions, shed light on existing problems and identify possible solutions. These informal discussions may even provide a stepping stone to official dialogue.
The experiences from this dialogue we have compiled in this brochure “A Call for Engagement - Observations on the Perspectives of the Relations between Myanmar and the European Union”. And I would like to use this opportunity to thank Prof Robert Taylor and Andreas List for their continuous support over all these years.
My appreciation goes also to Daw Than Than Htay and her predecessors U Kyee Myint and Ambassador Nyunt Tin, who as Secretaries of the Myanmar Institute for Strategic and International Studies partnered with us in this track two workshop series.
Another publication reflects a great deal of what we have done and observed over the years. The objective of this study - a “Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment” – is to formulate some recommendations for conflict sensitive development cooperation in Myanmar. This study I have conducted jointly with the well-known peace & conflict researcher Prof. Timo Kivimäki.
Both booklets are in the editing and printing process at the moment and will be available soon.
Ladies and Gentlemen, at this point please allow me to go back to the rainy season of 2007.
For FES it marked the beginning of capacity building projects with various NGO’s as well as the beginning of the Media Development Project in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development in Kuala Lumpur and the Asia Media Information and Communication Center in Singapore and various local partners. This project developed into a road map for Media Development in Myanmar. Some friends in civil society say, that some tangible results in the better performance of the private print media, MRTV4 and Mandalay FM can be observed already. Others say that the editorial in The Voice has become a weekly subject of discussion in many circles in Yangon and Naypythaw.
In August and September 2007 the Sanghas walked the street. A difficult time for Myanmar and its people.
To inform the international community on the circumstances we requested our team member Sylwia Gil, a renown specialist on Theravada Buddhism from the University of Warsaw to write a background paper on “The Role of Monkhood in Contemporary Myanmar Society”.
Dr Zoellners analysis and documentation “Neither Saffron – Nor Revolution” is also available here tonight.
During these difficult days we were planning our 3rd. Track Two Workshop with MISIS.
Against the advice of the EU Ambassadors in Yangon our team of 10 Europeans scholars from 7 different countries decided to participate in the workshop and also in the field trip to Northern Shan State and Kokang. We were at the time - and I am still of the opinion, that a committed dialogue partner has to stay committed although in difficult times.
At the time we were encouraged by our friends from civil society to go to NPT and to condemn the use of violence as a means of solving political problems.
For doing so we were scolded:
* by the various exile movements and elected Parliamentarians,
* by a number of Journalists,
* by the International Trade Union Movement
* by the ASEAN Interparliamentary Caucus on Myanmar
and by many others.
Furthermore, our Track Two Workshop was subject of discussion in the German Parliament and the European Union.
I would like to express my gratitude to my friend U Kyee Myint, who stood by my side during that difficult time in his capacity as Secretary of MISIS.
As time passed on, the storm calmed down. During the following month it appeared, that the relationships that we had build with certain institutions and individuals in NPT were also a source of encouragement for civil society actors. At that time networking among local NGOs and CBOs began. At the beginning of May 2008 they were the first to deliver much needed aid in the Nargis affected area.
Our projects have developed considerably over the past years. Many of our partners have substantially grown in that time. For most of them FES is only a small partner now.
Over the years we have also advocated the developments in Myanmar to the international audience. Through our office in New York, Brussels and Berlin we continue to discuss “What to do about Burma”. Among others Dr Khin Zaw Win, Ja Nan and Dr Nay Win Maung are frequent speakers at these events.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to come to an end now. My work in your country was an extra ordinary personal experience. I was privileged to meet a lot of interesting and very engaged people. All this meetings left some traces.
Early on I already learned that I am a Saturday born and what an auspicious moment is. Ex-political prisoners convinced me of the importance of national reconciliation and emphasised that engagement was essential rather than implementing sanctions.
From Daw Seng Raw I learnt what loving kindness is.
In addition I had a chance to be exposed to mindfulness and kelitas.
Also - I was asked not to be political – which was really difficult. However, sometimes at night, when all was done, there was time for politics - and we founded the Yangon branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Thank you, Kerstin and Sonny for a wonderful time. And if the SPD back in Germany would have listed to some of the ideas that we developed, they might not have lost so badly in the recent Parliamentary elections.
Last but not least - Reverend Dr Saboi Jum became my Uncle and I do hope that the cousin that I got through this relationship - Sao Harn Yawnghwe - will be able to visit his country soon again.
The dual approach in our project strategy in Myanmar through scientific cooperation and international dialogue on the one hand and by strengthening capacity and engaging civil society on the other hand has been successful so far. It is all about creating space and engaging society, isn’t it?
Despite the criticism we faced, we also got a lot of support, especially from the German Embassy. Thank you very much to Ambassador Luy and his team. Regardless of all the ups and downs I consider myself to have been quite privileged to be able to work with all of you. After the experience of the past five years I don’t feel shy to say that I mastered the difficult task assigned to me with passion and a sense of proportion.
It is sad to leave a place & people you like. Personally, I would of course have liked to witness 2010 first hand. However, I might be invited to come as an election observer. You can never know. In any case I wish you well for that occasion and hope that 2010 through broad participation by the public will be the starting point of a transformation process that will start to have its impact after 2015 …
I am looking forward now to move with my family to Sarajevo. As FES resident representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina I will have to face another difficult environment. We are curious now to live in a new country and ready for a new challenge.
With regard to FES’s relation to your country and your organisations, please rest assured that we are committed to our engagement. My successor Henning Effner has gained a lot of experience in transition processes while working for FES in Indonesia and Pakistan. Kindly meet him with the same frankness and trust and I am sure you will enjoy the same fruitful relationship with him as you had with me. He will be supported by Myo Myo Myint, who is about to submit her PhD thesis to the Asia-Europe Institute in Kuala Lumpur. As of January 1st she will start her full time assignment with FES in Yangon. Ranee and Sabine from our office in KL will also continue to serve as your support staff. I am totally convinced, that our cooperation with you will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Finally, I would like to wish Henning good luck in his new position and I wish for him, that his challenge here will be as enjoyable to him as it was for me.
Ce-zu tin-ba-deh! Thank you very, very much!
It is time now for a toast –
a toast to a peaceful, developing and democratic Myanmar ! ! !
Dr. Paul Pasch, Hotel Savoy, Yangon, 6 November 2009
မူးရင္းကို ဤေနရာတြင္ သြားေရာက္ဖတ္႐ႈႏိုင္သည္။