The past 50 years have been difficult times, to say the least, for the nation and especially the citizens of the deep South. Conflict has become part of life. Violence, at the best of times, has never been far away, and has often been too close. But something, at last, may be changing. The 40-day "violence-free month" negotiated for the region last week once again changes everything.
First of all, the very idea of a semi-formal ceasefire was a surprise.
The seven impossible demands made by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) had seemed to rule out a truce. The harsh rejection by government ministers also suggested a Ramadan ceasefire was out of the question.
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