Pilgrim in Mekong Peace Journey

After the scholar meeting in Cambodia at the end of 2010, Mekong Peace Journey pilot project was formed and I (Sotheavy) was one of the participants from Cambodia for had a chance to join in the Mekong Peace Journey pilot program which held at Ayuthiya town and Sisaket province in Thailand side and at Prash Vihear province in Cambodia side from 21-28 March 2011. Since then the MPJ was keep moving on. With this MPJ involvement I got chance to learn the difference contexts of Mekong counties and understand they are so nice people to make friend with as most of us from these Mekong countries used to had misunderstanding and conflict among each other in the wrong perception were divided us from one another in build hatred culture; since this program set up I got chance to learn from other countries issues and their commitment to building peace as one of our purpose. With most of the things I learnt from this Mekong peace journey, I did integrated some part of it to my presence work; I did shared experiences that I had involved with the Mekong Peace Journey to the partners and networks in my work place. Beside my work place the Cambodia Mekong Peace Journey team was form Regional Strategic Team committee represent in each countries to meet from 31 May-4 June, 2011 at Vientiane, Lao since then Cambodia form her own Regional Strategic Team meeting and keep moving on the Mekong Peace Journey program for next phase and had been involved in conduct activities with the Cambodian team dialogue and peace march between Khmer and Thai during the conflict happened at that time. Since started to involve in Mekong Peace Journey, AFSC was kindly support and always fully support to this journey and AFSC position was bring us together to build trust and understanding for peacebuilding in the region. My acknowledge thanks to AFSC, without your support this Mekong Peace Journey may not be happen.

pilot MPJ2010

From 27 May-5 June, 2015 Srey Sotheavy who one of the Mekong Peace Journey participants from Cambodia were able to attend the Training of Trainer at China, with total participants from the pilot MPJ and first to fourth MPJ generation in total 11 participants “5 ladies” (4 from Cambodia, 2 from Myanmar, 1 from Lao, 2 from Thai, 2 from Vietnam) with extra new include participants from China 4. The program was conduct with cooperation of Innovation center for China-ASEAN Culture Development and university of Quangxi province. The purpose of this ToT is to strengthen the capacity of the MPJ and build close relationship with each other especially build networking with the Chinese.

Workshop at the first day on 28 were led by Mr. Baht on Introduction to peace concept, and practice; peacebuilding and business investment lead by Mr. Jason Tower. They mentioned: conflict is natural thing as it’s part of our life, violent is symptom of injustice. If people able to change in individual and system/structure oriented then will bring positive peace. Winning the war, not answer to peace but winning the peace it reaches peace. Doing business need basic peace to build trust and co-operate social responsibility. In the next day was presented by Pro. Liu Cheng on peace study in China, he was explained the transactional peacebuilding, peacebuilding in global world, peace in ASEAN culture, and peace study integration. He also mentioned the Chinese government strategy on One Belt One Road: China likes to build trade system to Southeast Asia. The day after was presented by Mr. Issac Khen on peace process and reconciliation in Myanmar, he was shared the situation in Myanmar regarding to ethnic and religious, and how he as the local organization take role and responsible in building peace and reconciliation in the country. Next day shared on cultural interaction history between China and Asian by Pro. Fan Honggui who had experience in walked through some Southeast Asia to collect the connection of history of these nations.  At the next two days, facilitated by Mr. Baht on facilitation skill, he split the participants to groups of: understanding peace, conflict, violent; conflict analysis tools, negotiation skills, mediation skills, and perceptions and let each group to facilitate.

Field trip visit also interested to see the situation of the Chinese children issue of their parents migration to work to other provinces “spring heart”, cultural exposure in china, and how china involve in the environmental in the country. Reflection on the workshop and discussed on MPJ strategic plan were done and agreed by all volunteer of each MPJ-RST from each country.  The result of the MPJ evaluation in 2014 also share for the improved of the MPJ work in the future.

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