1)The following format may help us much in the smooth conduct of the way forward in the Malankara Church dilemma following the supreme court verdict of 3rd July 2017. CRTs and CBMs must go hand in hand for effecting a lasting solution. It should not be a piece meal approach. We should strive for a comprehensive and holistic approach.
2) It should be integrated into a broader strategy of peace and reconciliation. CBMs need some sense of consistency to be credible. CBMs should be used in situations where trust is missing. No one-size fits all. CBMs have to be tailored to the specific context in which they are being implemented. The mediator’s role is central in facilitating the process of reconciliation. Create CBMs tailor made to the context.
Keep the CBMs simple. Make the impacts visible to the target audience. Ensure that they are easy to control, monitor and verify.
Clarify the consequences for violating the conditions of the CBMs. Keep CBMs low cost -cost effective. CBMs should build confidence.
Have an equal impact on all the parties involved.
CBMs may be undermined by spoilers, who do not want an end to hostilities, and/or may benefit from it. Alternatively, CBMs that include spoilers, and help bridge their differences, are of key interest in a conflict context.
A common problem faced is that CBMs are vague, lack concrete details on how they will be implemented, or lead to asymmetrical outcomes. We should make it simple and unambiguous.
If they cannot be implemented or verified, this undermines
Confidence in the process, and between the actors.
Avoid strengthening the status quo. They can also distract attention away from negotiations, and away from addressing the structural causes of the conflict.
Format for Discussions with the Jacobite Mission and Orthodox Mission:
- The session to be chaired by HH Patriarch only. Make sure your final decision is based on the apex court verdict and in the larger interest of Christian witness and as such it must be binding on both the parties- the stake holders.
- After giving them a handout on the above CRTs and CBMs, as well as the apex court verdict, give them all a break for 30 minutes to read it.
- Then call in one by one the mission members to state the problems in its contextual background as perceived by each one.
- Then let them list out the possible solutions by submitting three scenarios to solve the dilemma for good.
- Keep your final conclusions to yourself only without giving any one any inkling of your mind.
- Repeat the same exercise with the Orthodox Mission delegates.
- Once everything is over pray about the final outcome by kneeling before our living God to guide you to take a divine centred decision.
- Communicate that decision to the head of each delegation by email or through the special emissary and the CRTs and CBMs professionals.
- God willing yes, Holy Father, you will emerge as the prince of peace in the third millennium.
Dr K.M. George, (Former UN Adviser)
Sustainable Development Forum,
28th July, 2017.