Creating Ethnic Unity

One of the key components of ranger training is to promote a sense of ethnic unity. Burma is a highly divided country with over 135 distinct ethnic identities. In addition to this Burma is also highly divided via language and religious differences. While several conflicts currently exist within Myanmar, with causes due to many similar grievances; the ethnic organizations that are engaged in these conflicts are often not united. This has often played to the strength of the military of Myanmar, allowing them to make selective ceasefires with certain groups and engaging in conflict with others, and then later reversing those ceasefires and conflicts to destroy and weaken other groups. In order for Burma to deal with its ongoing issues, the peoples that populate the country must not be marginalized and divided, but united and equal.

The purposes of the ethnic unity seminar and leadership training are to further understanding and unity among young ethnic leaders, to raise issues of concern and to develop leadership among the participants. The seminar covers topics of unity and reconciliation, ethnic history, democracy and federalism, as well as cooperation and coordination with the Burman pro-democracy groups. It serves to raise issues of importance to the ethnic peoples of Burma and to help them deal with these issues in a constructive manner. Training focuses on the model of ‘servant leadership’ with a goal of strengthening civil society.