Returning Exiles Show Capacity for Forgiveness in Myanmar
Los Angeles Times, Yangon, Myanmar – Maung Thura, a comedian known as Zarganar, spent 11 years in prison including five in solitary confinement for his open criticism of the repression he witnessed in Myanmar while the country was under military rule. Released in 2011 after the military junta was dissolved, Zarganar now expresses forgiveness rather than rancor for his former captors.
“This is not a time for revenge,” he said. “Otherwise, it becomes a circular motion that never ends.”
According to a variety of sources, Zarganar’s willingness to forgive–seemingly incomprehensible to many outsiders–is shared by thousands of dissidents and student leaders released from prisons or invited back to Myanmar, also known as Burma, after years in exile.
This flexibility on both sides offers hope the country can move more quickly toward national reconciliation, avoiding a settling of scores and crippling divisions seen in other countries struggling to emerge from decades of totalitarian rule.
Read more about the role of forgiveness in Myanmar in the Los Angeles Times article “In Myanmar, returning exiles show capacity for forgiveness.”