Background History

Background History

After gaining independence from colonial Britain on 4 January 1948, Myanmar’s freedom was marred by mistrust that rose out of political factors and misunderstandings between the ethnic groups and the democratic government. As a result, many groups took up arms against the central government in their struggle for prosperity and independence and to preserve their ethnic identity.

After the nearly fifty years of internal unrest, the grassroots people of all ethnicities who had been caught in the crossfire finally had their wish of peace fulfilled. Religious and community leaders of the regions made determined efforts to mediate between the two sides and as the first step managed to establish a cease-fire. Thus the situation changed from bloodshed to dialogue, and the peaceful addressing of the issues that needed to be resolved.

As of 1998 the majority of the armed groups reached cease-fire agreements, and at last the process of reconciliation and development could begin especially the remote areas where infrastructure is virtually non-existent. The process however is slow and hard, given the roughness of the terrain. The way to preserve the ethnic identity of the races and to up-grade living conditions including health and education is to help them where they live, however remote it may be.

Keenly aware of such diverse needs and the necessity of breaking down old prejudices and resolving misunderstandings, Nyein (Shalom) Foundation was established in May of 2000 to act as a forum for such measures. Nyein (Shalom) Foundation is dedicated to peace and harmony between the many ethnic races and the majority race the Burmese (Bama). Only with peace and mutual respect and understanding between the races living in the Union of Myanmar, could our nation grow and prosper for the benefit of all citizens.