CAMBODIA-THAILAND WORKSHOP FOR REFLECTING ON PEACE PRACTICE 28-29 October, 2011 at YRDP ORGANISED BY THE WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE AND AFSC
INTRODUCTIONS Muny and Russell gave a welcome on behalf of AFSC and thanked YRDP for providing their office as a venue for the workshop. Russell introduced the facilitator Charmaine Bacongo (known as Eks-Eks), who is an experienced peace worker from the Balay Mindanaw Foundation in The Philippines. She is visiting Cambodia both to evaluate AFSC’s support to partners and to lead this workshop on Reflecting on Peace Practice (RPP). The purpose of the workshop is to give partners a chance to analyze conflict dynamics, the relation of their activities to peace at-large, and ways to make their work more effective. Eks-Eks invited everyone to introduce themselves, their expectations for this workshop, and what they feel they can contribute. (See Appendix One for a list of participants and their introductory remarks). The expectations and contributions were summarized as follows: EXPECTATIONS: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Get to know each other better Learning from each others’ experiences What else can we do together in harmony Bring back good practices and to improve our own experiences Connection to the small peace work and connection with international group How peace is measure Openness, smile Learning the progress, challenges, and how to analyze conflict Next steps as we continue help in the peace work with Cambodia and Thailand Process is helpful Interviews Peace around the world
CONTRIBUTIONS: • • • • •
Experiences in building peace, on inter ethnic issues (challenges, and work) Small, small peace work to share to contribute to peace in the world Information Points of view from different perspectives (youth etc…) Minutes
PURPOSE: The RPP workshop will provide an opportunity for peacemakers concerned about the impact of the conflict between Cambodia and Thailand on ordinary people’s lives to analyze the conflict dynamics, the relevance of their actions to peace writ-large, the effectiveness of their actions to date, and options for increasing effectiveness and impact. At the end of the two day gathering, the group will be able to: • Reflect on our own peace program and share it • Understand each other’s programs and identified ways of complimentation • Analyze the conflict where we are in to identify steps on moving forward • Share RPP as process The workshop will look at peace works, conflict dynamics and connections between different conflicts.
“Reflecting on Peace Practice”
PROGRAM FLOW TODAY: Preliminary Common understanding Expectations Getting To Know You Looking back at our programs What is our program Changes we see Looking at our conflict and sharing ouf our analysis Forces for peace Actors Dynamics TOMORROW: Reviews & sharing of reflections Looking at our effectiveness Success indicators Limitations How fast, big Looking, Moving forward What do wedo next What do we need Why? How? (Refreshment Break) WHAT IS RPP? It is not just for evaluation, but for conflict analysis, for examining micro-macro links. It looks at cumulative impact. It is a process of reflection on our own peace work: asking how effective, what impact, and what should be the next steps: • RPP is about reflection and practice. • What are we learning from our experiences? • How does our experience compare with that of other practitioners? • What generalizable lessons we can learn and disseminate? 3
RPP helps to answer the questions: • What should we work on? Which of the issues or conflict focus is a priority? • Whom should we work with? Which actors/stakeholders are most important? • Why should we work on that issue with those people? Is the rationale for our chosen approach solid? CDA developed the RPP methodology, beginning 2003, through study of peace work around the world. Some Tools Used in RPP are: Three-box analysis, RPP Matrix, Criteria of Effectiveness.
THE RPP MATRIX Key People-More People Approach: Programs work at what levels? – 1. The individual/personal level. - Programs or projects that seek to change the attitudes, values, perceptions of individuals - Programs or projects are based on the belief that peace is possible only if the hearts, minds and behavior of individuals are changed. 2. Social-political level - Programs or project that aim to support the creation of institutions or reform of institutions which address that local conflicts and institutionalize non-violent modes of handling conflicts - Programs or projects are based on the belief that peace requires change in the sociopolitical structures Peace works with whom? 1. With MORE PEOPLE approach Programs involve many people becoming active in the process 2. With KEY PEOPLE approach Programs focus on particular people or groups of people who are deemed critical to the continuation or resolution of conflict because of their leverage or their role. The RPP matrix helps us classify the focus of our work. What are examples of key people? Participants suggest: - Politicians - Key communities or community leaders (i.e. victims of the conflict) who can effect change - Could children be key people? - Need to ask which children? What influence do they have on the socio-political level? On the matrix, use: 4
Yellow paper – for programs Green paper – for changes
RPP MATRIX – SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION The participants divided into three teams, each being made up of groups that have worked closely with each other. The three groups were: 1. The Council for Inter-Ethnic Peace (CIEP) 2. Buddhist & Khmer Support Network (BKSN) and Peoples Empowerment Foundation (PEF) 3. Working Group for Peace (WGP-Cambodia) and Thai Volunteer Service (TVS) Excerpts from the discussion within one working group BKSN and PEF built a network together. Local communities, media, academics, monks, NGOs, and religious groups all joined in. 85 people attended, and see saw the people’s attitude change. The Thai used to look down on Cambodians, but that was changed. We also changed the perspective of the media. The Khmer- Thai People Relations Committee was set up, we worked together. We also did lobbying and press conferences. Wisit, a community representative from Sisakhet Province, said “After BKSN and PEF came to us, the people felt motivated to work for peace. Because we have always had a close cross-border relationship, which was broken only by the recent political situation. We spoke to the commune and village leaders, who then began to think more about the view of the local people, rather than from the military and political leaders.” Wisit also explained about their meetings with Khmer people: “They asked why Thai people make war with us? We answered ‘We do not want war, but it is the Thai government doing this. We people want to make peace with Khmer. Thai people still love Khmer people, and we want Khmer people to love Thai people. We can be brothers and sisters together forever.’ “Cambodian people asked, ‘Why Thai want to take the Preah Vihear temple?’ We answered ‘We understand that the Preah Vihear temple belong s to Cambodians, because the International Court of Justice made that clear. This problem only comes from the small nationalist group in Thailand.’ So after that people started talking on this issue, and accept each other as humans. The Cambodians treated us very well, as neighbors.”
RPP MATRIX - PRESENTATIONS See RPP Matrix flipchart presentations in Appendix Two. BUDDHIST KHMER SUPPORT NETWORK (BKSN) / PEOPLE’S EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION (PEF) Sotha explained that “Our way of working is using the Dhamma and promoting the truth, especially ‘why we need to live together’. We use a people-to-people approach, but also try to influence the policy level. 5
We have a Khmer-Thai People Reconciliation project which had positive dialogue on what good things Thais and Cambodians have done. The change was that the Thai stopped looking down on the Cambodians, and the Cambodian felt friendly towards the Thai. Through the community forum, the people understood more about the history and the reason for the conflict that led to war in their area. For wider impact, as fighting was still going on, we organized the Dhammayietra. The media was also impressed by the Dhammayietra, including CTN and the Bangkok Post, and it spread to politicians also. People at the end decided they wanted more peace walks, so we decided to do it again each year. We also met with politicians, the Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand, Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Thai Human Rights Commission. As a result, the Ambassador agreed to future cooperation with us, especially on assistance to Cambodian prisoners in Thailand, and the Thai Human Rights Commission agreed to investigate the situation on the border, especially regarding military killing children who crossed the border illegally. We also had coverage through the media, through speaking on television, to reach the general public. We can now see similar activities promoted by the two governments, such as a Buddhist ceremony on the border, and the football match of politicians of the two governments. To build deeper relations, we organized community stays, including people from Thai villages affected by the fighting to live in villages in Cambodia. They then returned to their villages to share a better understanding of Cambodian-Thai relations. Wisit, who comes from a village affected by the fighting on the border, said “We can see that now the people on the border are in a real brother-sister relationship. We can make jokes with each other, tell stories, eat together.”
COUNCIL FOR INTER-ETHNIC PEACE (CIEP) Bunthea explained that “We did mini-research regarding inter-ethnic issues and the relationship between ethnic groups. This led to capacity building, including capacity building for the key community leaders. As a result, we have further developed our Strategy. We worked with the community, including key groups such as the Vietnamese Association. We now find that the communities are independently trying to solve ethnic conflicts in the community. The key people are trying to address common issues in the community.”
WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE (WGP) AND THAI VOLUNTEER SERVICES (TVS) Nana said “From the peace walk, people changed from hatred to loving. The love of one person inspired many people. It built a relationship. The Thai and Cambodian victims gave spiritual support to each other. We felt much closer to the real peace building. The number of young peace messengers increased, as we can see on Facebook.” “On International Peace Day, there was a lot of positive media attention. And people who never were involved before also joined. However, there were monks who were investigated by government, so may not join again in future. 6
“ICA and TVS are now planning a youth camp for Cambodian and Thai youth. We are having strong cooperation together, and we received many applicants from youth who want to be involved. The intended impact is to reduce misunderstanding between Thai and Cambodian young people.” The fact-finding helped us understand the real situation, as we do not always trust the media. The Mekong Peace Journey reduced prejudice, and increased solidarity between young people in the Mekong The Scholar meeting built willingness of scholars to support our peace building efforts. The internships, led to deeper understanding and changed perspectives of key young people. The Mekong Peace Journey built love and understanding. On the socio-political level, there was recognition from the Prime Minister of the importance of International Day of Peace. Sokhany added “I joined the visit to the victims on the border. We were able to cross the border to Thailand. But when returning, the border police stopped our Thai friends coming with us back to Cambodia. We were not able to give the Thai gifts to the victims, as the authorities said we had to give it to the Cambodian Red Cross to distribute.”
DISCUSSION Sokhany: “Everyone has been working hard, and has a common goal. We have different activities, but the common goal is to have peace. We have been living through many years of war and have been suffering, so that is what motivates us for working for peace. That is why we volunteer late at night.” Sotheavy: “We have done much work, but we do not feel it is supported by the government. So there is very little impact on the socio-political level.” Alain: “Why are politicians not interested? Because they instrumentalize peace only for political aims. For example, they play football together for political gain. They use both peace and war as political strategies.” Kimsrun “We can mainstream our peace building. We can change perspectives at the local or commune level. It may not influence the top, but can have some influence.” Chalida: “These issues are very sensitive, as the conflict has political dimensions. But we are successful in some activities. When political leaders change, the relationship can go very smoothly. We did a lot of lobbying, but the political situation gives limitations to what we can do.” Eks Eks “Most activities are focusing on individual change, and working with more people. We see we have not done so much at the socio-political level, as there are political limitations. Domestic politics are also key factors. “ Kimsrun “If we can define how our activities relate to government plans and policies, we can be heard more.” At the policy level, a mechanism for conflict resolution and intervention is being discussed at ASEAN. We are discussing that in GPPAC.
AFTERNOON SESSION Eks-Eks: The RPP Matrix helps people to place themselves within a larger context and pushes them to consider how they could affect other levels and people that are relevant to their situation.
CONFLICT ANALYSIS Using the three-box analysis. Why is it important to do an analysis? - It is an imperative to exploring how to deal with the conflict. Other questions: • What is the difference between Context analysis and Conflict Analysis? • When/how often should we do conflict analysis? • Where does the information come from for a good conflict analysis? Which perspective need to be included STEP ONE – Complete the Three boxes: Forces for peace: -What are the forces in the situation that exist now that can be built upon to promote movement towards peace? - What currently connects people across conflict lines? - How do people cooperate? - Who exercises leadership for peace and how? Forces Against Peace/ For Conflict - What are the factors that are working against peace, or for conflict? - What factors, issues or elements are causing conflict and/or dividing people, and how? Key Actors - Which individuals or groups to the situation are in a position to strongly influence the conflict – either positively or negatively. - Who can decide for/against peace? (Note these are NOT necessarily people who may be the program targets/participants, such as women, youth or religious leaders. We may be interested in engaging with such groups but they are not always key in the situation.)
STEP 2 – Identify the Driving Factors: the factors without which the conflict either would not exist or would be totally different. Ask why these factors are more important than others? On the three-box flip chart or board, star the key factors or underline them. – or create a separate list. There should be no more than 5-6 such elements. e.g. good governance, alliances, unfavorable conflicting laws.
STEP 3 – Identify the dynamics among the factors - Connect all the dynamics in a “spaghetti diagram”. • Explore how the factors might interact with each other in causal loops. • Which factors reinforce other factors (i.e. make them increase)? • Which factors balance or mitigate others? STEP 4 – Identify points of intervention [We did not do this step, due to time limitations] • What factors are driving the evolution of the system? Which factors, if they were changed, would lead to a significant change in the system? • Where are there “weak” links? Where are there opportunities to break links between factors, so that x does not need to lead to y? • Given who we are (our resources, structures, access, etc.), which of these are we most likely to be able to influence?
CONFLICT ANALYSIS – SMALL GROUP WORK You have already identified that domestic politics are an important driving factor. It is therefore proposed to divide into Cambodian and Thai groups, though some can join the other group (especially if they can speak the language). The 3-Box Analysis may refer to the BASIC QUESTION as follows: Cambodian Group: What are the factors driving Cambodia to be in conflict [or at peace] with Thailand? Thai Group: What are the factors driving Thailand to be in conflict [or at peace] with Cambodia?
CAMBODIA GROUP Soviet and Hoya presented: The main factor we identified was the Cambodian political trend (or political interest). This leads to lack of enforcement of international agreements, political and media manipulation, unfair natural resources distribution, and political and economic instability. So politicians can incite people to hate Thais. Also, Cambodia’s historical suffering can lead people to be easily incited. See Conflict Analysis presentations in Appendix Three. 9
Discussion: • Hoya: By political trend, we mean the political process in Cambodia which leads to political and media manipulation, unfair natural resources distribution, political and economic instability, etc. • We can also call this political interest, etc. • Question: Why does unfair natural resource distribution affect this conflict? - Sokha: We see the conflict with Thailand is based on the offshore overlapping claims area which contains oil reserves, and also under the Preah Vihear temple.
THAILAND GROUP Jim presented the analysis of the Thailand group (See Appendix Three). Forces of ‘unpeace’: - Causes of the conflict include lack of participation in decision making, especially the participation of people along the border which suffer from the conflict; - Nationalism – which is being mobilized by groups for political reasons; - Media, which can be a force for peace or unpeace; - Political interest – politicians. Factors for peace: - Policy and budget: Cambodian-Thai exchanges need to be supported. - Humanism instead of nationalism. - Documenting activities and realities: e.g. of good cooperation across the border. - Preventing human rights violation: the shooting of illegal loggers leads to conflict. - Independent objective media - People based benefit. Actors: CSOs and teachers, communities on the border, foreign ministry, defence ministry, interior ministry, media, international and national community. The driving factors: central positive factor is emphasizing on humanity rather than nationalism. CSOs are trying to influence emphasis on humanity, through the media, policy, and cultural exchange. Discussion: • Why mention the military, foreign affairs and interior as key actors? - The military are causing the human rights violations and armed conflict with Cambodia. And foreign affairs and interior are important policy makers.
DAY ONE WRAP-UP Eks-Eks summarized today’s achievements, which ended with conflict analysis. This morning, key points included that we have done a lot of work on individual change, and programs focused on more people, and we need now to focus more on key people and the socio-political level. However, participants also see constraints which make this difficult. Common driving factors of conflict include: • Political interests • Media and documentation 10
• • • •
Policies / laws Policy makers and government entities Academic institutions and teachers Presence of CSO peace programs
Reflection Points: • What factors are driving the evolution of the system? Which factors, if they were changed, would lead to a significant change in the system? • Where are there “weak” links? Where are there opportunities to break links between factors, so that x does not need to lead to y? • Given who we are (our resources, structures, access, etc.), which of these are we most likely to be able to influence?
Lessons from a Donkey (or how to get out of a deep well alive) A donkey was stuck in a deep well. Seeing the donkey in the well, the villagers thought best to bury it alive, so began shoveling dirt into the well. At first the donkey cried. But then the donkey saw a way out. By shaking the dirt off, the donkey was able to ride on top of the ever growing amounts of dirt. Finally, the donkey jumped out of the well, much to the surprise of the villagers.
DAY TWO Energising game led by Sokha of KCD Op! Op! op! - Min Oy Op! Reflection on Day One What were the highlights of the first day? • Good food • Most important was discussion on Driving Forces • CSOs do everything! • Liked story of getting the donkey out of the deep well • Three box analysis – driving forces for and against peace and actors • Chance to meet peacemakers from both countries • Helpful to have a wake-up session – and “reducing the bullets” • Looking at wider aspects of conflict – individual and socio-political levels • Opportunity to work with Khmer-Thai group, and Khmer-Khmer group • Wisit (community leader): “I am happy to be here. As a person who lives at the border, I never thought I would have the chance to meet with you all here. When I go back, I will do the best I can, to build up good relationship between Thai and Cambodian.” Plan for Day Two Eks-Eks said Today will be more forward looking, looking at our effectiveness, using some “criteria of effectiveness.”
CRITERIA OF EFFECTIVENESS What do we think of when we hear the word “effectiveness”? Participants suggested: 11
- Positive change - Impact on the broader peace - Leads to long term goal, cumulative effect The Criteria of Effectiveness are intended: • To assess, across a broad range of contexts and programming approaches, whether a program is having meaningful impact at the level of Peace Writ Large. • These Criteria can be used in program planning to ensure that specific program goals are linked to the larger and long-term goal of “Peace Writ Large.” • They can be used during program implementation to reflect on effectiveness and guide midcourse changes, and as a basis for evaluation after the program has been completed. Comment from Alain: Sometimes we are impressed, but sometimes afraid, of the impact of our activities; that is, we can have NEGATIVE impacts. Does ‘impact’ in this context also refer to negative impacts? This is a good point. We are aiming for positive impact, but we need to look at negative impacts too. We also want to build on our successes. The five criteria of effectiveness are: 1. The effort results in the creation or reform of political institutions to handle grievances in situations where such grievances do, genuinely, drive the conflict. 2. The effort contributes to a momentum for peace by causing participants and communities to develop their own peace initiatives in relation to critical elements of context analysis. 3. The effort prompts people increasingly to resist violence and provocations to violence. 4. The effort results in an increase in people’s security and in their sense of security. 5. The effort results in meaningful improvement in inter-group relations [See Eks-Eks’ handout for further detail on each criterion] These criteria come from CDA’s study which listened to the stories of peace work from around the world, and drew out some common lessons or elements that make up successful peace work. The Criteria of Effectiveness worksheet (see handout) provides a guide for group discussion on: 1. Rating the degree of impact. 2. Is the change big enough? 3. Is the change fast enough? 4. Is the impact sustained? 5. What is the level of impact, and what are the linkages between peace building efforts? 6. From this discussion, what locally specific indicators can you identify to measure your achievement of the criterion? Discussion: If going faster could result in negative impacts, that would be “too fast”. The emphasis is not necessarily on going faster or bigger. Please clarify how to do locally specific indicators? (see below) When we evaluate the program, how do we look at what is not yet achieved? ‘Impact sustained’ seems the most important column, but what indicators can we use? E.g. behavior or attitude changes?
It is difficult to see the sustainability of networking activities. But a change in government policy may be a sustainable result. If a pilot activity is mainstreamed (e.g. new school curriculum), then that would show sustainability. How to mainstream to young generation? Who will come new and have to set up again? We have many factors how to set up the network for next generation. Specially, the key actor is important to change the structure. Measures for the short-term can also be important. But if people in the community agree with the new mechanism, then it can become sustainable. [Beljin introduced herself] What does changing structures mean? – creating new mechanisms, laws, constitution, institutions (e.g. YRDP lobbying on youth policy). – Also need to look deeply at structural causes.
Locally specific indicators: You need to find your own relevant indicators. E.g. If people can now cross the border safely, that may be a positive indicator. The indicators can come out of the group discussion on impact. When we discuss it, we deal with our own biases by challenging each other’s perspective. In RPP, we ask what do we mean by a “peace-building program”? Whenever we reduce violence and create sustainable peace, it is a peace-building program. We can see negative peace and positive peace outcomes. Wisit: “The people living along the border do not want war. We want peace.” LUNCH TIME AFTERNOON Warm-up Game “Policeman and thief”, led by Bo Pao
ANALYSIS OF EFFECTIVENESS – REPORTS FROM GROUPS WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE (WGP/TVS) See Criteria of Effectiveness Matrix in Appendix Four Our group focused on the joint work of the Working Groups for Peace in Cambodia and Thailand, together with other countries in the region, on the Mekong Peace Journey. •
For Criterion #1 [institutions and mechanisms], we said we were fast enough because the team responded quickly to all issues. But as a result some things were not organized well. In terms of linkages, the team worked together with local and international NGOs.
For Criterion #2 [independent mechanisms] we said “big enough” because participants were actively involved in their own plans after the training. The impact was sustained and spread out to individuals, families and friends.
For Criterion #3 [resisting violence] we said Yes and No. The activity is not sufficient because there is local change, but the conflict is still there and the government does support our activity.
For Criterion #4 [sense of security], some people feel safer but some not. But the activity is still in progress. We are working just at the local level, but it is hard to work at government level.
We ourselves do not feel safe. Why? – Government does not support our activity, and the sound of the guns is still there. And people along the border do not feel safe. We could not bring our Thai friends to the frontline area. •
For Criterion #5 [inter-group relations] – Most people involved in this activity have changed their attitude, therefore we give this criterion a ‘4’ mark.
Discussion Hoya: We cannot agree on everything, but this is everything that we agreed together. It was hard to give a high score to No 4 (sense of security). Along the border, people still feel scared. But some felt happy when the group working for peace went to see them. They saw it as a positive sign. We also felt not secure when we went to the border areas. [This work started in early 2011, so it is fairly new.] Beljin: Within the group there was disagreement, but it was a good example of peace-building, because we could accept different viewpoints. Pao: We went to visit the victims on both sides, and we had dinner in the school and later slept in the pagoda. When we returned the school and pagoda visited by peace-makers had been destroyed by the bombing. And the house of the leader we visited was bombed. There was a rumor that the Cambodian visitors were spies. So we felt not happy. Eks Eks: When mistrust is so high, how do we go visit the victims? Will there be a negative implication? It is good to surface these questions. Chalida: We did not go, because we heard the situation; instead suggesting the government should visit. Wisit: When your team went to the community, I knew about that, but the people were not notified. I was busy at that time. You contacted the authorities, but people did not understand your purpose. Beljin: What is a better way? – Wisit: It is better to contact the people in the village, not just the officials. Then people will understand. The authority also has a good intention, but the people do not trust. The people are asked to look after the visitors, but don’t know the purpose. Eks-Eks: There is an element of mistrust that is still salient in these communities. In every account, there are different versions of events, from different actors.
PEF / BKSN Chalida presented the matrix, with backup from Sotha. (See Appendix Four) •
For Criterion #1 [institutions and mechanisms], we said it was fast enough – We established the committee in 2010. We organized the Love & Peace Without Gun conference quickly because we felt something was going to happen, and then on the 4th February the bombing started, and we had our activity on the 10th, so it was at exactly the right time. Now BKSN are doing youth training in the temple. PEF are focusing more on the communities. For level of impact we said ‘yes’, from community level up to international level. At the national level we have done the media campaign and policy lobbying. We organized the People’s Forum. At regional level, we brought the community to the ASEAN Forum in Djakarta. The ASEAN Forum came up with three points: 1. Solutions should come from the Security Council, 2. We called for the ASEAN Human Rights Commission and the Children and Women’s Committee to visit the victims, and 3. 14
to respect people to people relations. At the international level, we got support from the UNSC resolution. We also made sure that the border situation was included in the national human rights report. But we felt we were not sufficiently successful at national level, as the government does not listen even though the community raised many issues. •
For Criterion #2 [independent mechanisms] we said “Yes”, the communities joined academic discussions, and brought information back to the communities. Monks and youth across the border also heard from our group, so they know that it is a government conflict, not from the people. The impact was sustainable, because the attitude of the people was changed. We were successful at community level, but not at national level.
Regarding Criterion #3 [resisting violence], every time we met the Cambodian people, they said “we have been living under war for 30 years, we don’t want war, we want peace”. On the Thai side it was the same at the community level. But when we analyzed, we saw that the nationalist group in Thailand was a small group. We analyzed that it is useless working with that group, because they are against peace.
For Criterion #4 [increased sense of security], we said ‘yes’, but we gave a 4 not a 5 because people say “I don’t have land” and they feel unsecure along the border. But we provided an avenue for the people to raise their concerns to the government. We met with the Foreign Minister. But they are focused now on the flooding. We are waiting for the national meeting.
With respect to Criterion #5 [inter-group relations] we have worked as a good team together (BKSN-PEF). But we did not meet with the extreme nationalists. This is our weak point, but there is no benefit for the people to approach that group.
Discussion Chalida: After the border was re-opened, the success of the community was that they made some rules to limit the activities of the nationalist groups. They prevented them from protesting in sensitive areas that would re-start the fighting. Sotha: I feel very welcome when I go to Thailand. But in terms of policy, before I never heard the Cambodian government say that Thailand and Cambodia should be treated as brother and sister. Then finally, both governments started to speak this language. Even Abhisit said we are two countries and one faith. Pao: It is not always safe when we travel in a team. We felt safe in Thailand, but not in Cambodia. We were told to stay away from the Cambodian soldiers, because they hate Thai. Alain: How to build trust, change attitudes? The Thai community leader helped build links with Cambodian communities by offering his expertise as a masseur. We have yet not discussed theories of conflict or how to deal with conflict. Perhaps we need a sixth criterion of to what extent people have been given tools for dealing with conflict. Beljin: Some groups such as YFP or YRDP are already doing this kind of training. (Eks-Eks: the result of such training may be covered under Criteria No. 3.) CIEP Sokeo presented the analysis of CIEP. (See Appendix Four). CIEP is 9 organizations working together (previously 12). The other 3 left because they do not have any programs working on inter-ethnic relations. We started with mini-research in three provinces. We developed a training manual, and did 15
networking and coaching of people in conflict situations. The people trained were from different ethnic and religious groups. They set up a network to deal with problems at the village level. •
The group started its discussion with Criterion #5. We felt it is not big or fast enough, as we have limited resources and time. We discussed whether CIEP is a place of support or for doing extra work. We decided that CIEP is a venue for “getting to know each other better, working together for common interests, helping and support each other, and transferring what we have learnt and applying it to the next generation.” We felt we got some sustainability on the individual level, but there was not interconnection between the programs of the individual groups. Indicators include “getting to know each other better”. Our activity is not big compared to the whole, as we are just working in a small geographical area.
Under No. 4 (sense of security), we said ‘Yes, to some extent’. Before the program, some people never talked to each other or expressed their identity. Now people feel free to express their identity. It is fast enough, because we do not need to be fast. It takes time to build trust between groups. It will not be sustained unless it is an ongoing dialogue.
Under No. 3 (resisting violence), at the level of CIEP, ‘no’, but there might be some change at the individual member level.
Under No. 2 (independent initiatives), ‘Yes”, but only in terms of some impact. Some participants are still actively engaging in community peace-building even though CIEP is no longer providing them support.
We did not discuss No. 1 (creation of institutions) much, as it did not seem to apply to our program.
LOOKING, MOVING FORWARD
What do we want to do together? Why? 1. What have you realized? – looking at what you have done? 2. What are your CAPACIT(IES) that you can maximize in continuing…? Why? 3. What are the CHALLENGES you may be facing?
REPORT BACK ON MOVING FORWARD For details of each groups plans, see Appendix Five: Moving Forward. COUNCIL FOR INTER-ETHNIC PEACE (CIEP) What did we realize? CIEP does not intend to implement activities, but it is a place for sharing and support. What we intend to do together is: • Documentation • Communication and information sharing • Capacity building for CIEP members and partners • Exchange and sharing human resources. We will check with our members their “Expectations” and also what they can be there “Contribution” to CIEP. We plan to have quarterly meetings. Our challenge is lack of motivation among members to invest time outside of their own job, due to time constraints. We need to find rewarding activities and support offered by CIEP. BKN and PEF Emma explained that the group intends to organize a Cross-border Community Trade Exchange, in response to the problem of insecure livelihoods; and a Radio Program in both languages, to maximize and expand impact of the program. They will also organize visits to Cambodian prisoners in Thai prisons and Thai prisoners in Cambodian prisons (Victim Healing Exchange). They will focus on Buddhist spiritual healing. A Self-Reliance Program will focus on skills exchange – for example on massage, agriculture, etc. We have realized that we need more impact on the socio-political level, through meetings with key people and policymakers at the national level, and getting government officials to listen. Chanton added: We want to use the two language program to spread information about our program in the community. We already have good relations with the media in Cambodia and Thailand. Most Cambodian and Thais are Buddhist. Sotha said “People have been affected by the recent war. They lost lives of their relatives, properties, education. So their spirit is dramatically damaged. Sometimes we cannot see that, but there is spiritual damage. Buddhism has some tools that can help people overcome these difficulties. We also need input of other religions. We let people express their stories, and then provide the tools for curing them. We will visit prisoners. There are 2,500 Cambodian prisoners in Thailand. We will also visit Thai prisoners in Cambodia.” WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE / TVS We have not just these 10 ideas of what to do next. But the ten main ideas are [as listed in Appendix Five: Moving Forward]: 1. Regional peace training and exchange (exposure visit) 2. Cambodia-Thailand Exchange Program (CTEP) youth exchange 3. Peace work (with BKSN, WGP, TVS, PEF, INEB, SEM, etc) 4. International Day of Peace 5. Scholars meeting 17
6. Internship 7. Monitoring & Evaluation for the regional and national Strategic Teams to review the Mekong Peace Journey curriculum. 8. Retreat (national strategy meeting) 9. Peace workshop at APF/AYF 10. Regional media dialogue. We are working mainly on the lower level, but we also want to work more on a higher level if possible. We are working with “more people”, but have to think more about “key people” in future. In future we will also contact the media more. We have a lack of time, but we have commitment. Our capacity comes from having a lot of experienced committed volunteers and a positive attitude towards peace. What are the 5M? – material, money, mechanism, man/women-power, minute (time) Challenges include lack of democratic space and freedom of speech, as well as limitations in time management and fundraising.
WRAP-UP OF NEXT STEPS Eks-Eks wrapped up the discussion on next steps with the following observations. Reflection on Purpose We are from diverse groups (local and international) who are all working for positive change. Our effectiveness is due to our grassroots constituencies. We have many stories to tell, and people are talking in dialogue. We need to document this. We have organizations that have been supporting us, and we must maximize the use of resources. We have done much to change perceptions and attitudes. What we want to do together: • Capturing our work through documentation and stories and use of media • Capacity building • Monitoring and evaluation processes • Lobbying and engaging key people at all levels. Realizations… • We want spaces for sharing and support • Communication lines and decisions making need to be improved, and • We have worked on more people so we need to work more on key people and to affect sociopolitical change. Our capacities.. • Peace experts and trainers and researchers • Commitment • Rich experiences • The faith that we have • Positive attitude • Relationships with key people and other stakeholders
Challenges… • Political pressure and lack of democratic pace • How to be heard and understood by the government and improving lobbying work • Lack of motivation of members and partners • Find rewarding and complimenting activities for everyone • Limitation of resources (human resource, budget…) Emphasis… • We are all stakeholders for peace and we are involved in the conflict in different ways • We have tasks, expertise • We are a DIVERSE people • We have a LOT TO SHARE AND COMPLIMENT WITH… Thought for the Day A Sustainable Peace needs longer term commitment of honoring diversity and building bridges of understanding instead of walls of separation. Discussion: Alain: How can we get resources for our activities? Can we members of CIEP put in our individual budgets a contribution to CIEP? – This is something that CIEP could further discuss. Many networks operate like that. Chalida: Where else can we get support. E.g. from UNWomen. – [Beljin:] Cannot answer here, there is a process togo through, requires a good proposal. Sotha: Should have a meeting with donors to get more unity on this. Beljin – And should also have more meetings of the groups here. E Eks-Eks: And better communication, and sharing of our work. There is already a realization of this. Jim: Still not clear on who is doing what. We don’t see the whole picture. If we can understand more of the details, we can provide more suggestions, sharing of good practices, etc. It would be good to get to know about each other’s work. Russell: How often should meetings like this happen? – Answer from participants: Once a year…. All agree Chalida: It should not be too often, as we need to keep the funds for the activities. Pao: We also need to meet in-country more often, for example quarterly or three times a year. Chalida: In Thailand, we are also meeting in the community often. When we meet, we also need to maximize resources. FINAL WORD All participants expressed their warm appreciation to Eks-Eks for her fine facilitation. [Clap! Clap! Clap! Swish!]. AFSC promised to send the workshop minutes to all participants by email. The workshop ended with Azizah providing everyone an origami “peace bird”, and taking of a group photo.
APPENDIX ONE: Participant Expectations and Intended Contribution Name and organization Emma – PEF Wisit – community leader Chalida – PEF. Kim Kimsrun - WGP. Vuth – evaluation assistant. Vanny – WGP. Jim – TVS volunteer.
Kae – TVS Ben – TVS, Bunthea – YRDP. Hoya – WGP secretariat coordinator. Sotha – BKSN. Chanthon – BKSN. Russell – AFSC Pao – CLEC and WGP. Monireth- CCC/WGP. Chheang Sokha – YRDP/WGP. Sokeo – ACT.
Tania – AFSCSEAQIAR program evaluator. Nana – ICA Sotheavy – ACT. Sokha – KCD. Alain – KCD.
Expectation and Contribution Learn about RPP Build peace round the world, with no conflict between Cambodia and Thailand. Learn from experiences. We are brothers and sisters, and learn to keep this relationship forever, Learn about peace building and how it can be integrated or influence higher levels of government. And have a happy workshop Analysis and discussion on where to go next. Learn from experiences. How to work together Cambodian and Thai, and share experiences. See how we are achieving peace between Cambodia and Thailand. And how to better build peace and contribute to peace in the world. And share our initiatives. I work in Surin in NE Thailand with children and on forest issues. Wishes to exchange experiences, and bring back some good practices. I am a peace journey volunteer, placed at YRDP. Learn from experiences Learn new tools for analyzing conflict. More cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand. Resolve the conflict. Young people learn more about peace concept. Get to know each other. Find next step of our unity. And share challenge and best practice. Learn from everyone. Hope that everyone can feel they have learnt something. Will contribute where possible, and also take minutes. How to work together Cambodian-Cambodian, Thai-Thai, Cambodian-Thai. Contribute own experience, peace journey Learn more about peace. Learn from national and regional experience. Share YRDP work on interethnic issues. Peace cannot come by force, but by understanding Experience of translating RPP manual and use RPP in program and in region. Want to see relation between our small bit of peace work to broader issues in the region. Can share my work and experience. Looking forward to learning about your peace building efforts, gain insights, and also hear from you during the breaks also. And peace and solidarity Organizing Thai-Cambodian youth camp soon. How to measure peace work. Offer point of view from youth perspective Expectation to want to share. We are separated into many groups, so how can we work together. Working with children, Vietnamese and Khmer on the border. Hope to get experience. From France and Germany. Grew up in Alsace, in a French family, but felt as foreigner in own country. Like in Prek Chrey, Khmer feel like foreigner in own country. Experience says that peace always wins. Countries grow together. The little work we are doing prepares people to be part of this 20
Ik – SEM. Soviet – YRDP. . Muny – AFSC. Eks-Eks – (Charmaine) Azizah – evaluation assistant
growing together. I want to learn some ways to do peace work. Want to learn from your experiences, as I am new to this field. Although I have been involved in peace march, and did thesis on Dhammayietra. Want to learn from you, as younger person. And mechanisms for peace practice Learn from field experiences of participants. Learn from your experiences, and facilitate a process to learn from each other. New to peace building. So wish to learn from the diversity of organizations here. Including inter-ethnic and inter-religious work in Cambodia. And can share own experience as Youth Star volunteer.
Participants who came later: • Sokhany, from WGP • Ruby, from Initiatives for International Dialogue. • Beljin, Gender and Peace Building Specialist from UN Women
APPENDIX TWO: RPP MATRIX - PRESENTATIONS COUNCIL FOR INTER-ETHNIC PEACE (CIEP)
BUDDHIST KHMER SUPPORT NETWORK (BKSN) / PEOPLEâ€™S EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION (PEF)
WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE / TVS
APPENDIX THREE: THREE-BOX ANALYSIS AND CONFLICT DYNAMICS
CAMBODIAN CONFLICT ANALYSIS
Cambodia Three-Box Analysis: Driving forces for peace Religious philosophy Paris Peace Agreement Cross border dialogue Programs of CSOs on peace building Emerging of peace study at academic level Trade exchange Human relation ASEAN platform Social network International Peace Day Positive shared history International treaties Constitution Political will Available resources
Driving force against peace Extreme nationalism Political manipulation/incitement Media manipulation/incitement Historical suffering Education curriculum which progovernment Political and economic instability Ideologies of political of politician Unfair natural resources distribution Rumors Lack of consistent of social conscience Lack of international laws/treaties/resolutions enforcement Political trend
Key Actors Government Nationalist Media Head of States Politicians Political parties leaders CSOs working on peace building Academician Religious people Business and private sectors Youth
The highlighted driving forces are considered the most important forces in the analysis.
Cambodian Conflict Dynamics
Lack of international laws/treaties/resolutions enforcement (ASEAN Charter, Signatories of Peace Agreement)
Cambodian Political trend
(or political interest)
Unfair natural resources distribution
Political and economic instability
THAILAND CONFLICT ANALYSIS
Thailand Three-Box Analysis
Thailand Conflict Dynamics
APPENDIX FOUR: ANALYSIS OF EFFECTIVENESS WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE (WGP) Criteria of Effectiveness Worksheet: Mekong Peace Journey Rating: Criterion
degree of impact
Level of Big
The effort results in the creation or
National and Regional
reform of institutions or
The arrangement and management need to be improved
National Strategic Team and Regional Strategic Team
Local to local NGOs, National Region linkage to the international organizations.
Every participant actively involved in initiatives their own plan after the training.
Soon after the training
mechanisms that address the
specific grievances or injustices that fuel the conflict 2
Locally Specific Indicators
The effort causes participants and communities to develop independent initiatives that decrease dividers, increase
connectors or address causes of conflict
The effort prompts people increasingly to resist violence and
Short term and long term individual commitment.
9 Interns have strong commitment and initiatives. Personal transformation
Individual, families, friends
National, regional and the international
1-4. Yes, for local but 2.5
No for government
provocations to violence
The effort results in an increase in
people’s security and in their sense
To some people feel safe and some other not, due to we have not finished activities yet.
of security 5
The effort results in meaningful improvement in inter-group
1-4. Participants changed their attitudes 4
Regional Strategic Team
Cambodian-Thai open-mind to build peace together
COUNCIL FOR INTER-ETHNIC PEACE (CIEP) Criteria of Effectiveness Worksheet Rating: 0 = no impact on this factor; 5 = major impact on this factor Big/Fast/Sustained: Mark Y/N, why
1. The effort results in the creation or reform of institutions or mechanisms that address the specific grievances or injustices that fuel the conflict 2. The effort causes participants and communities to develop independent initiatives that decrease dividers, increase connectors or address causes of conflict 3. The effort prompts people increasingly to resist violence and provocations to violence 4. The effort results in an increase in people’s security and in their sense
Rating: degree of impact 012345
Level of impact? Linkages?
Locally Specific Indicators
There were some local initiatives run by participants in order to increase connector in their community
At the level of CIEP
Yes, the program of
But there might be at individual members Freely to express their identity to the other, increasing people
Yes to some extend
Yes, we don’t need to be fast
Yes, it has to be an on going
of security No, we need to do more
5. The effort results in meaningful improvement in inter-group relations
Not big enough 2 within the scope of its program Not big enough 1 if compare the national level
(It needs time to build a deeper understanding among group, trust) Not fast enough due to limited resources, capacity, skills, time....
community level are impacting on the local authority level
Yes, 2 (Even though the program stop for a while but the target group still active participation in relationship building among target stakeholders)
No interconnection of programs
Getting to know each other better, working together for common interested, helping and support each others, transferring what they have learnt and applied to the next generation, Not so much things done as the whole
BUDDHIST KHMER SUPPORT NETWORK (BKSN) / PEOPLEâ€™S EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION (PEF)
APPENDIX FIVE: MOVING FORWARD COUNCIL FOR INTER-ETHNIC PEACE (CIEP)
BUDDHIST KHMER SUPPORT NETWORK (BKSN) / PEOPLEâ€™S EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION (PEF)
WORKING GROUP FOR PEACE (WGP/TVS)
MOVING FORWARD SUMMARY Questions
PEF / BKSN
WGP / TVS
What we want to do together? Why?
Documentation Communication & Information Sharing Capacity Building of CIEP members & partners Exchange & sharing human resource
Cross border community trade exchange Radio community Program (both languages) Victim healing exchange (& prison visits) Self re-alliance program (skills exchange) Key people dialogue
What have you realized? Looking at what you have done?
CIEP does not intend to implement activities, but it’s a place for sharing and support
Need to create the impact at sociopolitical level (ie. engage policymakers at national level) How to be more sustainable in our efforts
What are your capacities? What you can maximize in continuing?
What are the challenges you may be facing?
Formulate expectations and own contributions to CIEP Quarterly meeting
Lack of motivation among members to invest time beside of own jobs (time constraint) Find rewarding activities, support, etc offered by CIEP
As Buddhists, expanding teachings & reach of members Expand connections with national government officials Extending the movement to create a critical mass Improving relations with the media Local govt/military officials do not understand programs & can sometime obstruct Making nation govt officials, listen and act Limited budget Insecure livelihood
Regional peace building training & exchange CIEP, youth exchange Peace walk International Day of Peace Scholars meeting Internship M & E (Regional & National) Retreat (national strategy mtg) Peace workshop Regional media dialogue Communication needed to be improved. We have worked with more people but less key people Decision making process needed to be clearer (always late) We have worked less with international network We should be contacted with more media Less time but more commitment We are having a lot of experienced committed volunteer people We are having positive attitude towards peace. We are having existing network and ability to connect more 5M, Vision We are having ability to coordinate Political pressure, lack of democratic space/freedom of speech Lack of social system, support Time management Fund raising
Published on Dec 1, 2016
Cambodia - Thailand Workshop for Reflecting on Peace Practice October, 28-29, 2011 at YRDP By The Working Group for Peace and AFSC