Blair draws on tough situation with IRA, in contributing solve Thais “Great Divide”

Tony Blair

Tony Blair (Photo credit: td stevenson)

Well, if Tony Blair helped solved the IRA situation in the UK successfully, maybe it is worth littening to what he has to say about the Great Thai Divide.

Khao Sod reports; The former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, shared his experience in solving international dispute with Thailand at the government-sponsored event ‘Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other’s Experience’ .During the Q&A session, Mr. Blair referred to his experience in brokering a peace deal in Northern Ireland, recalling that his party has a long standing policy for the dialogue and tried every possible way to get his counterparts to negotiation table. He said apart from avoiding aggressive languages, his party also tried to create trust, along with a stable and calm atmosphere to bring prominent leaders of the IRA to finally start negotiating with British Government. The process involved informal meetings with those who suffered from the conflict in order to create a sense of mutual trust, Mr. Blair said.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over the commencing of the event, held at Plaza Athenee Hotel in downtown Bangkok. She welcomed the experts and the invited guests at the event to help find the ways to achieve long-lasting peace in the Thai society. Ms. Yingluck said she hoped that the open discussion could provide basic approaches that could be practically implemented.  “Thai people could also benefit from the international experience, not only how the dispute was solved, but also about the success, failures and consequences of the conflict,” Ms. Yingluck told the audience.Taking the floor from the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Blair outlined some principles he said he learned from his experience with previous conflicts elsewhere.  The first principle is: “reconciliation happens when the sense of shared opportunity is greater than the separated ones”.  Mr. Blair believes that Thailand has many potentials and ‘[it] is the country that could and should become a global power”, but profound disagreements are prolonging the reconciliation process.  According to Mr. Blair, both partners should honestly and objectively examine the past, in order that both parties can develop the future together. “Every side has their own narratives about the past” said Mr. Blair “and it can never satisfy everyone.”  Furthermore, the former British leader said, frameworks for future justice should be provided to confirm the possibility of fair agreements, which will benefit all parties. By doing so, he promised, it is more likely to make both parties willing to objectively address the root causes of the conflict. Mr. Blair also stressed that the framework for reconciliation process must be anchored in a democracy that does not leave the minority feeling excluded.  “The majority must take pluralistic in nature, not domination” Mr. Blair told the crowd, “Rule of Law needs to be ruled objectively with authorities in independent jurisdiction”. He added that the reconciliation could be easily achieved if the political system in the country is seen as yielding benefit of their people.  “The government must show that they reached out and try to build the bridge in a non-partisan way,” Mr. Blair said.  Mr. Blair continued: “They must represent inclusiveness … in which the government and the opposition cooperatively develop the better living standard of the whole country.” The renowned speaker emphasised that the important thing about negotiation is to never give up, and that the political leaders of all sides must take part in the reconciliation process  “The leaders have to lead,” Mr. Blair stressed. During the Q&A session, Mr. Blair referred to his experience in brokering a peace deal in Northern Ireland, recalling that his party has a long standing policy for the dialogue and tried every possible way to get his counterparts to negotiation table. He said apart from avoiding aggressive languages, his party also tried to create trust, along with a stable and calm atmosphere to bring prominent leaders of the IRA to finally start negotiating with British Government. The process involved informal meetings with those who suffered from the conflict in order to create a sense of mutual trust, Mr. Blair said.

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