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«Learning from other conflicts | Main | “Art as a catalyst in building reconciliation-building peace in war-torn Sri Lanka.»
Learning from other conflicts Vol.2 [2011年04月18日(Mon)]
(continued from vol. 1)

Q. Apart from work, please tell us how does visiting conflicts
areas actually help the peace builder on a personal basis.
Soraya. I must tell you that my participation in the AMARC interna-
tional conference helped to boost my confidence. When I had to
make a presentation in front of a large audience, which was my
first such experience, I practiced repeatedly to be able to speak
in English, another important step in my life work. I returned with
a lot of hope and willingness to work harder for peace. You know,
peace builders who are stationed on the ground and work with
the very local community do not have the opportunities to travel
out of their areas as much as they would like. This has to
change. Grass root peace builders are the people who know the
reality of conflicts and how they affect the community. Their
voices should be heard internationally so that the people who
wage war understand the damage that it causes to ordinary
people. The other side of helping local peace builders to travel
to other conflicts is to give them access to more information.
This kind of exchange will help them to work in new ways at
home and overcome challenges at home. I returned from the
AMARC conference with a good network with other women-led
radios which was my object. I was also greatly encouraged by
courage displayed by the women speakers. They were strong in
character and spoke about how they speak out their opinions
on the community radio. I was inspired to start my own civic
women’s radio network in the Deep South. This will empower
women and make the community radio a base to talk of the
hidden issues such as violence against them.

Experience Two
Tengku Arifin. I have been a radio reporter, in both mainstream
and community, for more than a decade. Being able to join the
AMARC conference was an important learning experience for me.
The exposure to an efficient international community of radios
taught me the importance of having an international appeal. In
Southern Thailand we are caught up with our own conflict and
have do not have much time to analyze and learn from other
conflicts. This situation must be improved. By going to other
conflict areas or learning about them, we can compare and ana-
lyze our own conflict through objective lenses. Meeting other
peace makers is also time to share your own opinion with them.
The dialogue with them is important. My exchange with peace
makers from Aceh was satisfactory because we discussed the
issues of underground resistance against the politics of our
countries. I understood the importance of working to reach a
long-term solution by incorporating every group in peace making.

Experience Three
Arida Samoh, 24, reporter, Aman News Center, is a participant in
the program to build people-to people solidarity in Peace
Building in Southern Thailand and Mindanao. He was one of five
peace makers from Southern Thailand who were sponsored by
the Saskawa Peace Foundation to join the three month internship
project that is under the direction of the Initiatives for
International Dialogue organization based in Davao, Mindanao,
Philippines. Under the internship program they will join English
training, introductory course to conflict and peace building in
Mindanao as well as field visits and networking activities. The
program is implemented through networking activities, study and
field visits.

Q. What are a few of the most memorable exchanges you have
experienced with people working on peace building in Mindanao?
For a start I learned and analyzed myself the intricacies of the
Mindanao conflict and realized there were many tribal ethnicities
that have their own aspirations in comparison with Southern
Thailand which has only two ethnicities—the Thai Muslim
majority and Buddhist minority. The less groups involved could
mean that is perhaps it is easier to look for a resolution to the
conflict. I also learned through this exchange program that civil
societies that work on peace are recognized in society as impor-
tant players in the peace building. This situation is not as
apparent in our country. The work of grass-root organizations is
important to spread the message of peace. I will travel to
northern Thailand and meet with the Buddhist population in
that area to teach and discuss with them the problems faced by
the Muslims in the south. It is important to build bridges not only
between the conflicts in South East Asia but also within the
country.

Experience Four
Shareef Sa-id. 23, student. Student Federation of Southern Thai-
land. I learned the strength of the Muslim people's identity in
Mindanao that is represented strongly in their local organizations.
When I return to Pattani, in southern Thailand, I will share the
importance of empowering young people with an identity that I
believe can be learned from listening to the older generation.
This activity is to raise public awareness for the need to build
solidarity which then forms a strong base to work towards non-
violence. This is what I learned from the peace activities in
Mindanao.

Thank you very much for sharing your views with our site.

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