In the Introduction to the book, Mandy Sadan raised questions about how Kachin people themselves might consider their history if viewed from the perspective of cycles of war and peace. In chapter 2, Robert Anderson and Mandy Sadan develop the idea further, by linking the whole post-World War II era through phases of armed peace and conflict, suggesting the notion of a 'First Ceasefire' from 1944-1961 (this was mooted first by Robert Anderson at the seminar from which this book developed). Below, you will see an outline of the main phases of the First Ceasefire that we are putting forward for discussion, as well as some questions that require further investigation.
However, the broader issue relates to that of chronology itself. What is it and why is it important that we give a narrative to a series of events? Who decides the narrative and what impact does it have in shaping (and controlling) our understanding of history? What alternative chronologies and stories could be constructed if we shift our focus? Some of these issues, intended for students and teachers of these subjects, are discussed in more detail in the presentation below.