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Mon Refugee Committee April 1995
- Subject: Mon Refugee Committee April 1995
- From: ojasti@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 30 May 1995 10:56:00
Mon Information Service
SPECIAL REPORT ON MON NATIONAL RELIEF COMMITTEE ( MNRC ).
1. AIM OF THE MON NATIONAL RELIEF COMMITTEE.
2. NOTES FROM VEN.WONGSA PALA CHAIRMAN OF MNRC.
3. MNRC APRIL 1995 REPORT.
4. ORGANIZATION OF MNRC.
1. AIM OF THE MON NATIONAL RELIEF COMMITTEE.
A. Resettlement of the refugees who become homeless due to the opression
of Rangoon military regime.
B. To help for the welfare of the refugees who become jobless due to the
opression of Rangoon military regime.
C. To take care and look after the health of the refugees.
D. To fight against illiteracy for the children in the refugee camps.
E. To struggle for human rights.
2. NOTES FROM VEN. WONG SA PALA, CHAIRMAN OF MNRC.
Both the violent attack on the 6000 refugees by the Burmese Army
and the immediate inhumane forcible repatriation of these refugees
by the Thai government are unforgottable for the Mon people and
the international community. Both the people of Burma and the in-
ternational community have been amazed by the going together of
the Burmese and Thai governments in their recent physical and mental
abuse of the thousands of inocent human beings in Halockhani, and
will, no doubt, be still wondering what have been the real motive
and motivation behind such a unity between these two regimes. All
in all, we are still seriously concerned for the well-being and
safe existence of the Mon and other Burmese refugees who are see-
king havens on the Thai Burma border. We cannot yet afford to set
our mind at rest because we have not been given reason to believe
that such a unity of the two governments has stopped.
Amazingly enough, on the very day the Thai government and Burma4s
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council signed the memorandum
of understanding for exploitation of the massive natural gas in the
Mon territory in Burma, the 6000 Mon refugees were finally pushed
back to their unsafe shelters in the Burmese territory by the Thai
Frankly, we are still wondering whether the interests of the two
governments rest upon the miseries of the Mon people? Should this
be true, it is not only a crime against humanity but also a sin
against the teachings of the Lord Buddha for those rulers from
two sides to have so fiercely squeezed the thousands of the inno-
cent subjects between.
As a Buddhist Mon priest, with my utmost grief, I wonder why the
Thai and Burmese rulers, who are both Buddhists, have with such
a rancour abused the Mons- the people who once introduced both the
Burmese and the Thai peoples to the teachings of the Lord Buddha.
With our deepest regret we, the Mon people nowadays, learn that
Thailand has also forgotten the not-tto-distant past, the time
when the Mons enjoyed sovereignity and prosperity and maintained
a long-lasting cordial relationship with Thailand.
According to the teachings of the Lord Buddha, there are basi-
cally three kinds of evilness that lead to ultimate failures of
those who are subject to them: loba (avarice), dosa ( anger )
and moha ( ignorance ). These three kinds of evilness are inter-
dependent and inextricable. When one leads, the two others follow.
That is, when one has so much greed for something then one loses
so much wisdom to know right from wrong and becomes so much angry
whom one assumes as an obstacle in the way of it.
The Lord Buddha also teaches the four virtues of nobleness that
lead to ultimate successes of those who practise them: metta
( loving - kindness ), karuna ( compassion ), mudita ( sympathe-
tic joy ), and ubekkha ( equanimity ). These four virtues of nob-
leness are also personified in Buddhism as Four Guardians of the
world. We, all Buddhists, should allways bear in mind these te-
achings of the Lord Buddha and should endeavour to lessen the
three kinds of evilness on one hand, and promote the four virtues
of nobleness on the other.
The Thai government should sympathize with the plight of the
peoples of Burma under the rule of a ruthless brutal military
dictatorship and in the turmoils of the long-term ongoing civil
war in that country, which are the main causes for the Mon and
other Burmese ethnic refugees to have come to seek for sanctuary
under its sovereignty.
These refugees are at the mercy of the Thai autorities. They owe
debts of gratitude to Thailand for its kindness and symphaty on
them at the time they are in trouble and as such they will be
loyal to Thailand. They will always respect the Thai laws and
sovereignty during their refuge in Thailand. And they will never
forget the debts of gratitude they owe to Thailand. They are just
awaiting such a time they can afford to leave Thailand and return
Ven. Wongsa Pala
3. MNRC APRIL 1995 REPORT.
BPP ORDER FOR REPATRIATION OF HALOCKHANI NEW ARRIVALS.
On April 25 thee officials of Thai Border Patrol Police ordered to the
Halockhani camp leaders to quickly repatriate the refugee families of
new arrivals who built their houses along the edge of the camp in Thai
territory of the border.
Because of the consistent human rights abusesin Mon areas by SLORC troops
and hardships for survival, many local inhabitants had to flee to the
border refugee camps in recent February and March. As the location of
Halockhani is at the edge of Mon State and Karen State, many new arri-
vals from Kyaikmaraw and Kiarinnseikyi townships have been seeking
refuge in this camp.
The Halockhani camp has not enough space for new arrivals to build
their huts as the camp is situated in the mountainous area and is
full with the houses of the refugees, and it was impossible to build
new houses. By understanding with the local BPP officials, in the time
when the new arrivals arrived to the camp, they were allowed to build
their houses in the site at the edge of camp in Thai territory. However,
after they built the houses and already settled their families, they
were ordered to move from that site within two weeks.
If they were repatriated they need to move to Baleh Dunphai area.
Baleh Dunphai is one section of Halockhani camp and about four kilo-
meters far from the main camp. Last year, in July, the Baleh Dunphai
section was attacked by Burmese troops of local Infantry Battalion No.62
and the whole Halockhani refugees fled and tried to seek refuge in Thai
territory. Now, because of the narrow space in Halockhani main camp,
very few families of refugees who have no choice for making shelters
are living in Baleh Dunphai section under fear of another attack of
On April 5, when 200 Burmese troops of Light Infantry Battalion No.403
retreated back to the headquarters in Tavoy, there was small fighting
between Mon troops and Burmese troops that occurred near the Baleh
Dunphai and many refugees had fled to the main camp because they were
afraid of another atack and arrest by the Burmese troops like during
the last year July incident. After the Burmese troops moved down to
their headquarters and the situation came to stable, the refugees re-
turned back to their former site again. Therefore, it was concluded
that Baleh Dunphai section has no safety for many refugees to reside
in the present time.
In this case the MNRC would like to appeal to Thai autorities through
the UNHCR and international aid agencies for the protection of those
refugees, not to move them and allow them for sheltering up to the end
of rainy season. On the eve of rainy season it will be impossible for
them to construct their houses again in the unsafe Baleh Dunphai sec-
tion. With humanitarian consideration the Thai autorities should
allow them in this rainy season as they had already built and repaired
THE EDUCATION SURVEY ON MON REFUGEE CAMPS.
During last week of April, to implement the education program in
refugee camps, initially, an educational survey team formed under the
cooperation of the Burmese Border Consortium and MNRC had professio-
nally collected informations on the educational level, background,
work skills and hope for the future of the Mon refugees from three
Mon refugee camps of Payaw, Bee Ree and Halockhani.
ALthough the educational survey work is late because of some diffi-
culty for permission from the Thai autorities in previous time, it
is very usefull for MNCR. In the Mon community, such survey work was
never implemented before and now this survey could provide detail and
complete educational ionformations of Mon peoples tho are in trouble.
In view of the MNRC, while the refugees are in the camps on the Border,
during the time they are taking refuge, they need some assistance of
the international community for the reconstruction of their own commu-
nity. The assistance of reconstruction of communities may provide for
those refugees a better insercion to their country, after Burma has
attained genuine peace, peoples participation in political arena is
again permitted and the refugees repatriation process has been comp-
The most important things for the reconstruction of communities are
the proper educational assistance and usefull and necessary training
courses. The educational level of the children must be lifted in
schools by using their own language textbooks. Adult and women educa-
tion should be supported by the help from NGOs having experience in
other border camps like Laos and Cambodia before the repatriation
Vocational training courses must be prepared by international orga-
nizations concerning community development, grassroot level, practice
and commodities production skills to be put to work after the training.
Most of the Mon refugees are illiterate and thus adult literacy program
is a high priority. Literacy shall make other training easier. At the
present the Mon Women Organization ( MWO ) based in the camps is imple-
menting adult literacy in small scale.
In the future MNRC hopes to implement adult literacy in large scale,
as well as other training programes, assisted by international NGOs,
by cooperating with Mon Women Organization, Mon National Education
Committee, Mon National Healts committee and camp leaders.
4. ORGANIZATION OF MNRC.
1. Phra Wongsa Pala -Chairman
2. Nai Shwe Thein -Vice-Chairman
3. Nai Banyar Leir -Secretary
4. Nai Kasauh Mon -Joint-Secretary
5. Nai Chit Nyunt -Member
6. Nai Pho Sein -Member
7. Phra Nonda Pala -Member
For more information, support or suggestions contact:
Mon National Relief Committee
Phra Wonsa Pala, Chairman