|Flag of the Karen National Union|
Notable among the peaceful changes taking place in Burma is a recent ceasefire between the government and the Karen National Union, representing the Karen tribal people of Burma. The KNU has fought the oldest and largest of the ethnic wars against the Burmese government, and the declaration of a ceasefire is potentially very good and important news. Burma's Karen have paid a long, heavy price for war with tens of thousands of refugees living in camps inside Thailand. The Burmese military's repression of the Karen people has been particularly bloody and brutal.
The war isn't over yet. No final agreement has been signed. Still, the prospect of an end to what is considered to be the longest running war on Earth is welcome news indeed. All eyes turn now to the nations of western Asia and the hope that the people's revolts of the Arab Spring will take us, eventually, still a little further down the road to a more peaceful, just world. Peace, we are often reminded, is more than the mere absence of war, and while that is true we'd settle for awhile with a world "merely" absent of war, yes we would. Amen.