keep posting news that related to our
is wonderful to read the General Statement of 58th Mon
National Day which you posted on February 24, 2005. The Mon spoke
as a unique people and stood as a strong community.
forgive me if I’m too aggressive with your Mon National Day statement
posted on February 26, 2005. Focusing the past history and telling
how your glorious civilization is not important than the present
. Unnecessarily, maintaining a tradition can not build unity with
other nationalities that are in the same boat suppressed by Burmese
military junta. Let’s forget about the past and work for better
MORE DIALOGUE WITH THE JUNTA
February 28, 2005)
President of New Mon State Party, Nai Htin, in his Mon National Day
message, states that the NMSP will urge Burmese military junta for
are not satisfied with the military regime since it has no political
will for a political dialogue. The NMSP, however, has to attend
the government sponsored National Convention with other cease-fire
groups to solve the problem of the country and cooperate with other
political parties and nationalities,” read the President’s message
which was delivered to civilians on the 58th Mon National Day
celebrations held under NMSP controlled areas on February 24, 2005.
also mentioned that the NMSP was disappointed with the junta for
arresting Shan leaders but continued attending the National Convention
as an opportunity to work for the betterment of civilians and the ethnic
NMSP promised in the statement that it will not betray public opinion
and will endeavor to achieve good benefits for the people. The
cease-fire party will never throw away the revolutionary fruit.
NMSP urges to work together for unity among the Mon people including
and Thai Mons.
Central Committee of NMSP decided early this year to resume attending
the National Convention and General Aung Naing is now leading the
delegates. The NMSP conducted a public survey seeking opinions
from Mon people whether it should attend the NC or not. The survey
shows, according to a senior NMSP leader, many people wanted to join the
government sponsored National Convention.
by late President Nai Shwe Kyin in 1958, the NMSP is the only major
political party with a military wing, the Mon National Liberation Army
(MNLA), which had fought against the regime for almost five decades.
When it reached a cease-fire deal with the ruling junta in 1995 the NMSP
lost some public support and political involvement from the Mon
HEALTH RAISES CONCERN
March 1, 2005)
from family members of the New Mon State Party report that President Nai
Htin’s health has gotten worse within the past two months.
to his family, the 84 year old NMSP President was suffering from a bout
of malaria at the party Headquarters and was brought to
for medical treatment two months ago. He recovered and was sent
back to the border, but soon after his health started to decline and is
near the Thailand Burma border getting treatment.
to a relative who visited him at the hospital, he would like to return
the Mon Headquarters as soon as he feels well to do so.
Htin was chosen as President of the New Mon State Party replacing Nai
Shwe Kyin who passed away in March 2003. He is well-respected by
the majority of the Mon population and grass roots organizations for his
optimistic attitude and loyalty to the Mon national movement.
Despite his age, he lived with his comrades at the NMSP’s jungle
Headquarters, BeeRee Camp in
before being taken to the hospital.
NMSP President Nai Htin will turn 85 years old in March.
INTERNATIONAL MON NATIONAL DAY
February 27, 2005)
58th anniversary of Mon National Day celebration was
at several places from Australian to North America, from Mon State and
other parts of Burma where the Mon community live.
New Mon State Party organized several MND celebrations within its
controlled area and one major event was held at
organized by Sathom (Thaton) District of NMSP. Nai Layeh Sem, the
Chairman of MND committee said over five thousand civilians attended the
event and form into 26 long columns from 26 villages. Colonel Joel
Yeh and NMSP members attended the event with local civilians.
National Day was also held along the Thai Burma border, at Palaing
and at the
the capital of
, Nai Pan Aung, the leader of Moulmein Mon National Day Central
Committee urged all Mon people to be united under one goal. Since
last month, the committee has produced 2nd Mon Cultural Heritage CDs.
, the majority
of Mon migrants took the day off and celebrated the event near their
Maharchai, several hundred migrant workers attended the MND celebration
at two different events. Another event was
organized by the Thai Mon community in
on February 20, 2005 at Wat Sathatham,
. The Governor of Samut-Songkram presided over the opening ceremony,
which was followed by a parade of Mon dressed in their traditional
clothes from several provinces in central
. There was a cultural exhibition on the Mon way of life, including
customs and traditions, and an exquisite dance performance.
Leaders from the Mon Unity League, Mon communities
and Mon Youth Community attended the annual event.
by Malaysia based Mon National Democratic Front, in Kuala Lumpur and
Penang, Buddhist monks and guest joined with migrant workers at MND
celebrated the MND on the evening of February 20
. The dancers
performed graceful movements with their hands and danced as elegantly
and firmly as possible to the music. Mon traditional foods, such as stir
fried vegetables, noodles, curried rice and fresh fruit was served to
the guests. Mon community of
also celebrated the events in their communities.
, the Mon community organized a similar event in the evening on February
26 where about 150 supporters and friends attended.
celebration was jam packed with activities that started from 6 p.m. and
lasted until midnight. Mon cultural performances were organized by the
Mon Canadian Society and Mon Women Organization. A lot of tasty
and spicy food was offered and speeches and Karaoke music rounded out
the whole evening. A Canadian Member of Parliament and community
leaders delivered their speeches thanking the
for their invitations.
to join in the festivities with the members of the Mon Cultural Society
Europe the events were held in
National Day falls on the first waning day of Maigh, the ninth month in
the Mon lunar calendar which honors the founding of the sovereign old
Monland Hongsawatoi or Pegu. The Mon has celebrated Mon National
Day since 1947 and nowadays celebrations
are held in many areas in
and around the world.
more photos view http://www.kaowao.org/gallery.php)
COMMEMORATE NATIONAL DAY
Uk Ling, Chinland Guardian)
February, 2005 -- Hanging a banner that reads “Chin National Day” is
illegal at celebrations inside
, but Chin people living in exile in countries around the world were
able to commemorate the 27th Chin National Day without having
to worry about repercussion from Burmese military authorities.
20 is an annual celebration marking the declaration of the result of a
Chin public plebiscite held in 1948. At the public assembly held at
Falam that year, over 5000 Chin people voted for democratic system of
government after rejecting the continuance of traditional aristocratic
feudal system that had been in practice in Chin society for centuries.
That day came to be known as Chin National Day and has annually been
observed as a national holiday.
57th celebrations of Chin National Day were held in cities
across Asia, Europe, North America and
, imminent immigration crackdown by Malaysian authorities did not deter
over 2000 Chin expatriates to converge for the National Day celebration.
hundreds of Chin gathered to observe the occasion. In
, celebrations were held in
. In the
there were celebrations in Washington D.C,
. In Europe, commemorative events took place in
take pride in our National Day being an occasion that celebrates the
dawn of democracy in Chinland,” says Salai Mang Bik, Chairman of the
organizing committee for the celebration in
. Ironically, the democratic system that the Chin people voted for was
short-lived when General Ne Win overthrew a democratically elected
government in 1962.
, the decree of ruling military regime prohibits the celebration of
February 20th as Chin National Day. Instead the regime uses
the name “Chin State Day.” This move has been seen by Chin people as
a distortion of history to facilitate the policy of eliminating the
Chin’s distinct national identity.
sentiment was echoed in a commemorative address to the Chin people by
Chin National Front’s Chairman Thomas Thangnou. He blamed the
“racist ideology” of
’s military junta as being responsible for the erosion of Chin
language, culture and religion. He stressed that patriotic consciousness
is necessary to resist the threat of identity erosion.
will stand firmly against any powers which threaten the survival of our
national identity. Protecting our Chin national identity and interest
remains the guiding principle of Chin national revolution,” Mr.
GUERRILLA LEADERS SEEK SAFE HAVEN
February 26, 2005)
guerrilla leaders Nai Hloin and Nai Bin are seeking safe haven in
after a Burma Army’s major offensive in southern
according to reliable source.
reported that Nai Hloin is now seeking refugee status at the UNHCR
office and is receiving medical treatment for serious injuries he
received from the offensive.
in August 2003, the BA Infantry Battalion No. 282 of the Coastal Command
surrounded Nai Hloin’s base near Mi TawHlar village in an attempt to
root out his armed units in southern Ye and Nai Hloin was seriously
injured during the clash.
sources report that the main reason the two brothers Nai Hloin and Nai
Bin decided to give up their guerrilla warfare against the Burma Army
was because of intensive military action since December, 2003.
politician from Ye said, “even though the local Mon people do not
fully agree with the splinter group, they sympathize with them and hope
that the existence of the Mon armed group can offer some kind of
protection from the worse human rights violations committed by the Burma
the armed struggle continues in the area. Nai Sook Gloin (long
hair) succeeded their command and are leading a small guerrilla
group,” said a 35 year old Buddhist monk who just arrived to the Thai
Burma border from southern Ye. One BA soldier was shot dead as a
result of a skirmish which recently broke out between the BA and the
villagers have been arrested, tortured, raped and killed by the BA on
suspicion alone, in which the truth is never determined. From
January to March of 2004, the Tactical Command No. 3 killed over 10
villagers and tortured several others on suspicion charges. A Mon Relief
and Development Committee member said ‘that due to offensives launched
by the BA in the area, about 20% of the local population of over 50, 000
have been displaced.’ Many have fled to the Thai border area or to Mon
refugee resettlement camps.
the New Mon State Party reached a cease-fire deal with the military
junta in 1995, Nai Hloin split from the Party in 1997 to resume fighting
against the BA. The two brothers Nai Hloin and Nai Bin led a Mon
National Warrior Army (MNWA) of about 100 fighters formed with Sook
Gloin, Nai Jai-Daik and Chan Dein in southern
and the northern part of Tenasserim Division.
IMPACT OF ARMED
February 17, 2005)
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) has
published a report: “The Impact of Armed Conflict on the Children of
Burma” to alert the UN Security Council members about the problem
facing the children in
to bring the matter to the forefront of international attention it will
be discussed as ‘Children and Armed Conflict’, the NCGUB report
points out that children from the ethnic groups, which are directly
bearing the brunt of five decades of conflict, are particularly
vulnerable to the widespread and systematic human rights violations
occurring in their areas.
children are subjected to direct military violence and are frequently
displaced and forced to live as internally displaced persons or refugees
without security, health care, education or adequate nutrition. Children
from ethnic groups are frequently used as forced laborer or porters as
well as human minesweepers. They are frequently victims of rape and are
vulnerable to trafficking for sex work and other forms of exploitation
and neighboring countries.
and youths are commonly abducted from public places, train stations
ports, teashops, cinemas, schools and off the street for the army. An
estimated 70,000 children are sent to military training camps to be
trained as soldiers and they are routinely beaten and brutally punished
if they try to escape. Once deployed, they are ordered to abuse human
rights against civilians, round up villagers for forced labor, burn
villages, and commit rape and extrajudicial killings.
Thaung Htun, Representative of the NCGUB for UN Affairs, said, "We
are concerned about the impact of the long political stalemate and armed
conflict on the children of
. Every aspect of children's lives -- security, education,
physical and mental health, and early childhood development, and so
forth, is being affected. Destruction of the lives of our children means
destruction of the future of our country. Hence, we are sending
our report to UN members to urge them to address the plight of children
urgently when there is debate on children and armed conflict at the UN
Security Council on February 23.”
report of the UN Secretary General released on 9 February, 2005 put
) again in the list of parties that recruit or use children in
situations of armed conflict. The report says, “There continued to be
reliable reports from the United Nations country team, diplomatic
missions and NGOs about the recruitment and use of children by
Government armed forces and a range of non-State armed groups.”
INDIGENOUS DELEGATES ASSERT RIGHTS
February 26, 2005)
Indigenous delegates assert U.N. rights in Shillong Meeting.
governments, United Nations Agencies, and international communities
should pay attention to improve the situation of indigenous peoples and
promote their rights, especially the rights of indigenous peoples in the
Northeast India," said Mr. Parshuram Tamang, the current Asia
member to the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UN PFII) at the
concluding session of the Shillong meeting that took place from February
25 to 26.
this Asian preparatory meeting, about 40 representatives from ten
countries made recommendations to UN Permanent Forum, UN Agencies,
governments, and international agencies to implement strategies and
action plans for poverty reduction and primary education programs for
the indigenous communities. Ms. Lola Garcia-Alix from the International
Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA),
also attended the meeting.
delegates came from
meeting was aimed with the objectives to gain a broader understanding of
UNPFII and make concrete recommendations to the Permanent Forum, which
will convene its 4th session in New York this coming May.
peoples should use the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues as advocacy tools for establishing their rights", added Ms.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the other Asian Representative to United Nations
Permanent Forum during the Shillong meeting over the weekend.
two-day long preparatory meeting was jointly organized by Asia
Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (AIPP),
and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA),
and hosted by the Naga Women's
in Manipur (NWUM), and the Meghalaya Peoples Human Rights Council
(MPHRC). In this meeting indigenous delegates have made recommendations
on land rights, right to forest and resources, education, women,
children and youth.
was made on free, prior and informed consent must be followed in all the
processes for the developmental activities that affect indigenous
peoples, directly or indirectly. It was also discussed in the meeting
that the right-based poverty reduction strategy should be adopted for
indigenous peoples who are the most vulnerable.
their concerns about the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, the meeting
participants said they have failed to include indigenous peoples and
made specific recommendations to .the 4th session of the United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the body set up by the United
Nations to deal with indigenous peoples issues.
indigenous representatives also appealed to Chief Minister D. D. Lapang
to cancel the uranium mining at Domiasati, West Khasi Hills not to
resort to coercion, intimidation and force on the people who are
demanding guarantees for their future generations.
PROTESTERS ARRESTED IN
February 17, 2005)
Burmese nationals were arrested today in
for holding a protest in front of the Burmese embassy.
Democratic Federation of Burma comprised of Burmese, Mon, and Chin
nationals demonstrated in front of the Burmese Embassy and were later
arrested, according to Nai Khit RaeMarn, Vice-Chairman of the
based Mon National Democratic Front in exile.
those arrested were: 3 Central Committee members of MNDF, Nai Hong Chan,
Nai Wunna and Nai Ong Chem Tala. “It is the first time that we
(MNDF) demonstrated in
along with others but all were now in the detention centre,” reported
Mr. RaeMarn over the phone.
MNDF members posters read: “We don’t want the SPDC’s sham National
Convention; Stop human rights abuses in southern
; and Stop raping Mon women and burning our houses.”
the protest, the police gave warnings to disperse but when the
protesters refused, all were arrested and it is assumed they were taken
to Pudu police station.
first group of over ten people demonstrated at 6 in the morning and no
one was arrested. We the third group, plan to demonstrate at 4: 50
again this afternoon,” said the MNDF Vice-Chairman.
May, the Burmese demonstrated against the Depayin massacre committed by
pro-SPDC mobs and all 23 members were rounded up and arrested.
several thousand Mon migrant workers in
, there are over two hundred MNDF members, but many have are in hiding
after the crackdown by the police this month.
last year, the Mon political activists have published a Hongsarwatoi
monthly journal and over the past four months were collecting funds from
their members. The self-funded publication, however, has stopped for the
time being because the publishers fear that they will be arrested by the
police after a raid at their office last April, 2004.
home, the military regime has refused to hand over power to a wining
political party and human rights abuses against the ethnic nationalities
continue in rural areas.
CAN FIGHT ANOTHER 50 YEARS:
Paul Holmes, Reuters: February 28, 2005)
Htoo Lae Camp, Myanmar -- The commander of Asia's longest running
insurgency urged Myanmar's reclusive military junta on Monday to get
serious about peace talks or face another 50 years of guerrilla war.
his first interview in 56 years as a jungle fighter, General Mutu Saepoe
said the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) may be short of arms and
ammunition, but had all the will to fight on for the autonomy of an
ethnic Karen state in
have already fought them for 56 years. The end is not coming, not
yet," Mutu, 72, told Reuters in an open-sided teakwood command hut
just a few yards (metres) inside the former
across the Moei river that marks the border with
how long the conflict, subdued but not entirely stopped by an informal
ceasefire reached last year, might continue, he said: "Maybe the
next generation, or the next, or the next...
the dictators still want to fight, we are ready to fight. If they want
to compromise, we are going to compromise."
in 1948, the Southeast Asian nation has been convulsed by a series of
ethnic guerrilla conflicts with the ruling ethnic Burmese majority.
Karen number around 1.5 million inside
, according to Mutu. The rebels' political wing, the Karen National
Union (KNU), is the largest ethnic minority rebel group holding out
reached what Mutu called a "gentleman's agreement" in January
2004 to cease hostilities, but skirmishes continue at the rate of about
one every two days.
want them to know that we still have the ability to kill them however
big they are," he said.
KNU has held sporadic talks with
's junta in the past year and said it had been invited to further
informal talks in
in late March.
said he saw the talks as a way for the junta to buy time while it
oversees a National Convention meant to draft a new constitution paving
the way for multi-party rule.
's main opposition parties symbolised by democracy icon Aung San Suu
Kyi, and the KNU call the convention a sham and are boycotting it.
dictators are crooked men," Mutu said. "But people can change,
dictators can change."
who left school aged 16 in 1949 to take up arms, spoke in deliberate
colonial English he learned as a boy at British-run mission school.
said his dream as a youth had been to be a pilot or a doctor, but his
people's struggle against a Burmese-dominated government they saw as
oppressors proved a stronger calling.
only son, Chee Kirt, was killed in action aged 18 six years ago.
in crisp camouflage fatigues and wearing a black beret made in
, Mutu said his army had only small arms, made its own landmines,
possessed no vehicles and had not bought weapons for at least 11 years.
Even bullets were in short supply.
need a lot of training for our boys to get them to shoot straight, but
we don't have enough ammunition," Mutu said. "We save it for
the Burmese army."
said the KNLA had never had outside support in what he called a lonely
struggle that has lasted as long as the Palestinian conflict with
also said he had never met any other guerrilla leader. Asked about the
death last November of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, he said:
"We're a long way from the
of Mutu's few trips abroad, when he flew on a false Burmese passport to
, was nearly 20 years ago and paid for by the British-based Anti-Slavery
who has shaved his head since his hair turned silver, said he kept trim
by walking the length and breadth of KNLA territory and switched
locations regularly to avoid capture.
"I don't need aerobics. Walking in the jungle is better than being
in a room," he said.
the interview, young soldiers sat in the shade of the handful of
teakwood huts in a dusty clearing where the red, white and blue Karen
flag hung limp on a pole in the clammy midday heat.
least one of the soldiers had an antiquated bolt action rifle but stood
stiffly to attention as a group of visitors crossed the river back to
on a rickety wooden pontoon bridge that forms one of Mutu's few links to
the outside world.
are looking for a good friend, a sincere friend, a helpful friend, or at
least a sympathiser," Mutu said. (Additional reporting by Ed
Cropley and Nopporn Wong-Anan)