Peace and National Army For Mon People
Peace and National Army For Mon People
By Apar Hong Mon
Sunday, July 08, 2012

Some of our Mon leaders prefer to use various political approaches for national self-determination rights instead of militarization. They are more comfortable to employ the “middle way” that Gandhi cultivated in gaining independence from British colonization in India. The struggle of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama also demonstrates accepted methods of nonviolence. However, the consequences of Gandhi’s success and Tibet’s continuing challenges provide an important lesson. In both these cases, and in others where nonviolence is used, people have to patiently suffer, watch their property be destroyed, and even die in the hopes of achieving peace and political goals.

Few countries seem to gain independence without taking up weapons. The world may be comfortable with the Dalai Lama’s peaceful tactics and Gandhi’s middle way, but nevertheless, the outcome is that Tibetans cannot stand to protect themselves against powerfully armed China, and Tibetan lineage becomes more commixed and less likely to survive year after year.

Several Tibetan protesters have set themselves on fire and died. Hope is dwindling that Tibetan language and literature will survive. Despite China’s blatant invasion and subsequent rule over Tibet for sixty years, the United Nations (UN) cannot help Tibetans gain freedom. Proving that those with power will succeed, the UN does not dare to condemn China’s army, even though the destructive situation in Tibet is clear. Tibetans do not get any protection, support, or improvements to their conflict as a result of their nonviolence. In fact, the world neglects or ignores them.

After America dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, combat in the Pacific theater during World War II came to a close. And, in the wake of worldwide devastation and as the Cold War began to take shape, only the United States appeared to fulfill the criteria of a world superpower and a leader in global peace, relating directly to its military might.

It would be difficult for developing countries undertaking the struggle to ensure democracy, peace, development to dismiss the success of the United States due to its economy, technology, and military having preeminent status in the world.

If any country’s army shows signs of weakness, there is a corresponding loss of hope for political power. The country becomes unable to protect the public, ensure peaceful security, or effectively stand as their representative in domestic and international affairs. The UN does not want countries to increase their armed forces more than necessary, yet many countries choose to strengthen their armies with modern technology.

Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth. Since 1958 when armed conflict broke out in Cuba between Fidel Castro’s rebel forces and the Fulgencio Batista government, the United States has been involved in unresolved conflict with the island nation. However, due to Cuba’s relationship with the nuclear-armed Soviet Union, the US did not dare to declare war on Cuba as it did when it invaded Afghanistan or Iraq.

In Burma, several ethnic rebel groups fought with the Burmese government for human rights and justice. The United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the largest and strongest armed ethnic group in Burma, is spite of having a small population in northern Shan State.

Because of the strong military force wielded by the UWSA, the result of their ceasefire agreement with the government was a Wa Self-Administered Division where they can manage their own self-determination rights. The Wa people do not have an officially independent state, but were able to threaten the Burmese government with their armed forces sufficiently to secure self-administration.

In the UWSA-controlled area, there are no government troops and their soldiers have the opportunity to serve and be involved in the community. The government has no right to organize the residents of Wa region for an election or to force them to form a political party and contest in elections. Other ethnic rebel groups signed ceasefire agreements with the government because they want political dialogue and autonomous status similar to that granted to the UWSA.

In March of last year, after the military harshly ruled Burma for several decades, the army wrote a new constitution and changed from a military regime to a nominally civilian government led by President Thein Sein. However, the government expects that after ceasefire agreements are reached, the ethnic rebel groups need to contest in an election to participate in Parliament and amend the constitution. This is a symbol of the precarious situation because, before joining an election campaign, an ethnic rebel leader will have to change out of uniform and into civilian clothes.

If the Mon armed ethnic group, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), agrees to give up their arms and run for election in 2015, Mon people who support the NMSP will have to abandon their hopes to implement federalism and establish an autonomous Mon state. In southern Burma, if the revolution weakens and the NMSP no longer fights the government, the survival of Mon language and culture will be threatened.

The All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), Mon Democratic Party (MDP), and NMSP must take a more active role in the struggle for democracy and national rights. What the Burmese army is capable of doing is common knowledge, and Mon people must fight for standards of living and human rights.

Over the past 40 years, the NMSP has maintained between 2,000 and 3,000 troops (though it peaked at twice this number) to fight for Mon statehood. However, the 15-year ceasefire with the Burmese government significantly diminished NMSP forces. If the NMSP is able to grow its force to upwards of 20,000 to 30,000 troops, the Mon people will gain more commanding political influence.

Whatever situation develops or however political policies change in Burma, Mon troops must persevere for the future security and protection of Mon culture. It is important for Mon people to have strong Mon troops to establish peace for their people. With robust and dedicated forces, Mon people can expect to meet international living standards and preserve their identity and heritage.

Feedback From
Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Name of sender: Tun Lwin Oo
Email of sender: twl555@gmail.com
COMMENTS: The Wa Army was born from the Communist Party of Burma, long backed by Beijing. The Wa was taught how to grow opium by the Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist KMT soldiers, expelled from China by Chairman Mao. The Wa paid Bo Xi Li to sleep with Hollywood’s hot beauty queen, Zhang Ziyi. The Wa made former Chiang Mai’s police chief, Thaksin Shinawatra become the richest man and later the prime minister of Thailand. The Wa may not have a state of their own but they make independent states and individuals, including Myanmar’s ruling elites, come to them. Who wouldn’t? These guys know how to do POLITIK. Where on earth can someone affords 30,000 strong army with tea growing business? Even the Colombian’s FARC saved the country’s economy from drug trade. Who knows if the Wa wouldn’t do the same to Naypyidaw given the poor economic performance of the generals.
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More articles from issue 04/2 More articles from issue 02/3
More articles from issue 04/2

- Divide of Opinion on Proposed Change to Burma’s Electoral System

- Armed Ethnic Conflict Potential Unlike Sri Lanka but Strong Ceasefire Agreements Still Needed for Efficient Peace Process

- Conference and Photography exhibit highlight Dangers of Dawei Seaport

- Land confiscation issue in Mon State addressed in Burma’s Parliament

- More Calls for Political Party Unification as New MDP Office Opens

- Dengue Outbreak in Mon State

- Mon Must Be Ruled by Mon (Interview)

- President To Offer Limited Rights To Teach Mon Language

- Government Denies Permission to Mark Martyr's Day in Ye Township

- “I do not want to let it Burn down like a Mon Monastery” says Ashin Nyanissara

- Mon Education Donations Don’t Reach MLCC Goal

- From Burma to Myanmar: Restoration of Burman Imperial Identity

- MNDF Party Returns after 22 Years with New Name

- AMDP Disagree To Join MDP

- 80 Families Forced To Move in Three Pagodas Pass Township

- NMSP Questions Effectiveness of Ethnic Conference

- Peace and National Army For Mon People

- Mon in Sangkhlaburi Celebrates Culture and Urges Preservation

- Aung Min promises “Death Railway” Reconstruction to Begin After Rain Subsides

- Peace Process Can’t Proceed Without Suu Kyi

- Anti-Drug Day Names Three Pagodas Pass as Key Drug Trafficking Corridor

- Low Salaries and Teaching Restrictions Pose Risks to Mon Literature and Language

- Government Using Development Projects to Eliminate Enemies, Says NMSP

- Rohingya Boat People Imprisoned by Burmese Immigration Authorities

- Mon to Prepare for Ethnic Constituency in Rangoon

- NMSP Holds Community Meeting in Sangkhlaburi

- The Role of Women in Local Peace and Development in Monland

- Still No Justice for Victim of Alleged Police Brutality

- MDP Travels to Naypyidaw to Receive Official Registration

- Can Enemies Become Friends?

- Security Concerns and Cancelled Speaking Engagements can't Dampen Jubilant Crowds at Suu Kyi Visit

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