Working Group for Peace (WGP) in Cambodia and Thai Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS) in Thailand had accomplished fruitfully its significant role as Mekong Working Group for Peace (MWGP) in the regional learning process for young adult along Mekong River known as Mekong Peace Journey (MPJ) in 2011. As the result from MPJ 2011, most of participants have been working together with strong commitment for peace in their own country as well as regional level. Seeing this strong movement and cooperation of those young adult along Mekong River, MWGP had designed the second Mekong Peace Journey (MPJ) to increase and to strengthen networking for sustainable working together as a big family of MPJ to promote peace building understanding.
The Second Mekong Peace Journey (MPJ) had been held since July 7th-29th, 2012 in the cross border called Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar/Burma for 25 participants from Mekong countries of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar/Burma, excepting China which were not be able to engage in this year. The participants are young adults from diverse backgrounds to learn and live together over Peace Building related to peace concept, conflict resolution, nationalism, pluralism and identities in practical way with field trip to the real situation.
In the context of painful from the conflicts caused by missed-understanding of ‘historical biases’, ‘political distrust’, ‘cultural prejudice’ among people and country level of Mekong country. Moreover, labor migration, drug and human trafficking, are happening seriously so those kinds of issues have been creating unsustainable political situation of government and distrust relationship and hatred among people to people. Environmental issues along Mekong River is also increasing which is facing to people living which we cannot deal only in one country so we need to come-out to unite as a Big family among 6 Mekong countries with the power for better changes in our Region. Additionally, without serious reflection and understanding the root cause of those conflicts, the people will be easily influenced by one-side information creating extremely nationalism and hatred from generation to generation.
All the above mentioned issues have been happening such a long time as well as in the present time which we all along Mekong River should not be silent in the common understanding of Peace building because Peace is not only one issue, Conflict or war, but it is also our daily problems such as environment, politic, religion, education, justice, principally the ‘Living Standard’ of the people which we cannot deal only one problem and we said we have peaceful country.
In responding to the above issues, our new MPJ generations in 2012 are ready to be a Big MPJ family as Peace Builder in Mekong region. In 22 days of the journey, participants had learnt deeply of Peace concept and conflict resolution with serious reflection and analysis to the social issues. Within those tension and critical sessions, we had as well taken their attention to get to know inside themselves called Self-understanding, self-awareness and Self-value. It is the basic need knowledge we, Mekong youth, need to know because it help ourselves to be strong inside to open heart enough to learn outside things with open-minded to share with others confidently. Moreover, the Word Dialogue we might used to hear in talking and sharing as group of people, but here the word Dialogue is used to reflect inside ourselves to get Self-understanding. Dialogue with yourselves, read yourselves is the best practice for your inner Peace. “It is useless to know many things outside yourselves but did not know even yourselves who you are” said by Prof. Dr. Parichart Suwanbubbha, Director of Institute of Human Rights and Peace studies, Mahidol University.
On the other hand, with different method of our Resource person, trainer, to aware and to burn heart of participants through Identities, Sources of Power, Pluralism, Nationalism, Conflict analysis/mapping on Identities and Nationalism, conflict transformation, Non-violence, inter-religion, Culture of Peace, most of them are aware and very active in dialogue, sharing with critical thinking and deep reflection to the issues in Mekong region.
Just only talking, thinking and listening from Resource person, it would not enough to capture the holistic aspect those Peace concept and even characteristic of conflict analysis. All participants had been to three different communities of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar to observe and to practice using their eyes, heart and hand in the purpose of measuring their understanding. Theory is one thing, but practicing is another different thing.
Beside those theories how to analyze and getting to know Peace Concept, they are not ready to be young Peace Builder in region. They need to know how to share, to update and to spread out what they have learnt, seen, understood, and achieved with others Mekong people to get mutual-understanding with Positive and believable information to diminish missed-understanding, prejudice, and bias.Thus, media had been comprised of the session divided into 3 parts of Writing, Photography and Filming.
Media is using for sending, sharing and updating all information over the world, people to people and countries to countries. Therefore, media is playing a vital role in Peace Building which we can absolutely use it for the sake of Peace through positive writing, filming and taking photo to sharing and updating what happening along our Mekong River, and we are able to inspire for better Changes of mutual-understanding among Mekong countries.
Keep Updating, Sharing, Moving and Inspiring!
Beyond the journey of MPJ to understand young adult of Mekong Region of those Peace concept and conflict analysis, MPJ have extended another fruitful and effective Seeds of Peace which have been planting and growing in each Mekong countries. Those seeds are our MPJ participants “Mekong Youth” which have solid bond as Big family to share, to update common concerns and to rise the spirit of mutual-understanding, truth, love and friendship among Mekong people.