Ethnic Conference Through to Find out Peace Hopefully

Ethnic Conference Through to Find out Peace Hopefully

Monday, August 13, 2012
Nai Hong Sar additionally serves as the secretary of the United Nationalities Federal Council. (Photo:Kaowao)

Nai Hong Sar is a 40 year member of the New Mon State Party, which fights for the self-determination rights of the ethnic Mon in southern Burma, and currently serves as its secretary. Nai Hong Sar additionally serves as the secretary of the United Nationalities Federal Council, which is an alliance of twelve ethnic armed groups involved in the violent struggle for ethnic rights in Burma.

Kaowao interviewed Nai Hong Sar about the forthcoming ethnic conference to be held the second week of September.

Kaowao: What is your intention at this conference?

Nai Hong Sar: We intend to get viewpoints from different ethnic groups regarding how to best build peace in our country. We will invite not only ethnic armed groups but also CBOs, CSOs and other organizations based along the Thai-Burmese border and within foreign countries.

We will take the time to form and strengthen one viewpoint about how best to build peace among our ethnic groups. Then we can show them, the government, that this is a common agreement among our ethnic groups and we can reject the plans that they wanted us to do.

If we have unity, we can do what we want. In time they will have to do for us what we want, which is why we have to hold this conference. We will show the people in Burma and the international community the decision that will come from the conference -- what we need to have in Burma in order to have real peace in the country.

In order to have peace and for everyone to live together in Burma, there must be equal rights. Our ethnic people need to get equal rights.

Kaowao: Why must you have this conference if the government has already mentioned that they will hold an ethnic conference in the future for similar matters?

Nai Hong Sar: We do not want their ethnic conference, in which will be a majority of their government people. Therefore, they will do it as they like, and not as how we like, in their conference.

Indeed, they have to negotiate with us to do this conference, to agree to what percentage of their representatives will participate, and from the side of our ethnic people, how many of us can participate.

Kaowao: What is your view of the current government's peace process?

Nai Hong Sar: They are telling us to form political parties and join national parliament according to the eight points from the peace process plan they had made with the ethnic groups.

We do not accept this because they are putting us in their political arena, which is not our arena. We cannot fight for our ethnic rights in parliament because they have a huge majority in parliament and the military has an additional twenty-five percent as well. Therefore, it is impossible to get our ethnic rights unless we reach an agreement with the military.

Kaowao: Don't you think you will have a problem with the government for this conference because many UNFC members have signed ceasefire agreements?

Nai Hong Sar: We want to find a political solution, which is why we agreed upon ceasefires with them. We are waiting to see how they will solve political conflict. However, they do not seem to want to solve it and are instead taking their time. This is why we hold this ethnic conference.

We are not creating problems with them with this ethnic conference. Actually, we should have political talks in other countries instead of inside our country so that we can look at our countries and see how they do it.

Now, during ceasefires, is the time to find peace. In order to find peace, we cannot wait from the government. We must do it ourselves among our ethnic groups.

Kaowao: What about the peace talks with your party and the government? Why is it taking until December to hold peace talks with the government again?

Nai Hong Sar: They do not want to have peace talks, which is why they are taking such a long time to hold peace talks.

They are only thinking about what opportunity they can take from us for them. They do not view the situation from our side. I'd say that the current peace process lacks sincerity, which should not happen.

Kaowao: The government says the Kachin military does not want to sign a ceasefire and this is why they [government] have a hard time settling peace in Kachin State. What do you want to say for this?

Nai Hong Sar: A lot of government troops have surrounded areas around the headquarters the Kachin military. So, how can they agree to have a ceasefire? They need to withdraw their troops. There will be fighting again as long as they stay close to Kachin, even if they do have a ceasefire.

The government has given no timeframe regarding when they will host political talks after signing a ceasefire with the Kachin military. Kachin representatives believe a future ceasefire will be similar to the last futile ceasefire, which is why they do not want to sign a ceasefire agreement with the government.


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- Government Land-Seizure Investigation Committee Moves to Karen State

- Ethnic Mon in America Welcome Suu Kyi’s Visit With Words of Advice

- First Permitted Commemoration of International Peace Day Marks in Moulmein

- Ethnic Groups Issue Their Own Peace Plan

- Ethnic Mon Monk and Right Activists Make Donation to Insein Prison

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- Ethnic Mon MPs Meet Mon Migrants in Mahachai

- Pa-oh group agrees to a ceasefire with the Burmese government.

- Eight Thai Citizens Facing Prison in Burma

- Ethnic Languages to be Taught in Burmese Schools

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- Initial Agreement Reached Between 88 Generation and Two Mon Political Parties

- Ethnic Conference Through to Find out Peace Hopefully (Interview)

- Starting Historic Journal, The Than Lwin Times (Interview)

- KNU says Burmese Government does not Want Real Political Dialogue

- Remembering Mon leader Nai Non Lar

- Mon Curriculum Brought to President Thein Sein

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