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Mon Information Service 18.9. 1995



Concentrated between Burma and Thailand, there are an estimated 8 million 
Mons in the world today. Yet, their rights often go unrecognized. Like 
many indigenous peoples of this region, for the past forty years the 
central government in both Rangoon and Bangkok have ignored and attempted 
ethnocide of the Mon people -- who were the orignial inhabitants in the 
Burmese-Thai region. 

The Mon language is a distant relative of the Khamer (Cambodia) langauge 
group, having no similarities with Burmese and the Burmese alphabet is 
based on the Mon alphabet. 

After successive waves of Burman and Thai immigrations from the north in 
the last milenia, and after repeated attacks the kingdom of the peaceful 
Mons was defeated in 1757 and the higher culture taken as war booty to 
upper Burma by the Burmese king and many hundred thaunsands of Mon had 
been facing genocide. Meanwhile, in Thailand Mons were given speical 
areas to live and found sympathetic favor under the Thai king, himself a 
descendent of the Mons, mostly in areas around Bangkok's main river.
Present Situation.

Today, however, the situation is radicaly different with assimilation 
rampant on both sides of the border. Centralization and capitalism are 
working hand in hand to annihilate all indigenous peoples. A planned gas 
pipeline from Burma's Gulf of Martaban will dissect Monland on its way 
into energy-strapped Thailand, and so foriegn policy in the era of 
"constructive engagement" does not favor the Mon people. 

The refugee situation is increasing due to forced labor on "infrastruc- 
ture" projects in the area, such as the gas pipeline and the 110 miles 
long dead Ye-Tavoy railway construction. Villages regularly undergo 
forced  relocation while harrassment, violence and pillaging continue 
under SLORC's reign of terror.  One of the biggest problems for the Mon 
people is recieving outside  information and spreading out inside 
information to international  communities. 
Approximately 50-60% of the Mon people cannot read or write in Burmese, 
and less are able to use English. Thus access to much information is 
prohibitive, especially about health care, social, politics and inter-
national news. This is in addition to strict censorship controls and 
added ethnic suppression by the Burmese junta.  
  The New Mon State Party  (NMSP):
  Fighting against Burmese military junta  by both arm struggle and 
  political activities;( Recently reached agreement for ceasefire with
  Burmese military junta (SLORC)
  Mon National Relief Committee MNRC (MNRC):      
  Working for Mon  refugees in the  Thai- Burma border; 
  Add; GPO. Box.1983 Bangkok 10501, Thailand.
  Committee for Publicity of People Struggle in Monland (CPPSM): 
  Mon non-government organization.
  Add; GPO.Box. 227, Bangkok 10501 Thailand










                                             18th September,  1995.
Today marks the 7th anniversary of the suppression of the demonstrations 
by the people of Burma who peacefully asked for democracy.  These 
demonstrations were broken by the SLORC by firing their guns, killing 
many thousands of innocent people.  
   At this time the people were calling for justice,  peace and freedom 
from repression.  The people who resisted the dictatorship strongly and 
bravely demanded democracy. 
 Now in the current situation the SLORC continues to misuse their power, 
to ignore the desires of the people and only bullies them with their 
weapons.   All the nationalities within the Union of Burma always have 
to live under the military dictatorship.  
   From the time of September 18 1988 when it seized power, the SLORC has 
   never worked to change their practice.  Their only work has been for 
   themselves in order to hold onto their own power -- for the benefit of 
   only one group.   Instead the people have expressed their wish for 
   government by the people -- democracy -- but the SLORC is  holding their 
   bogus National Convention to draw up their constitution that intends 
   only to enshrine their own state power.   
   Each of our organizations urges the SLORC to urgently stop bullying the 
   people and clinging onto state power.  It must work for the people's 
   welfare.  We also ask for the international community's continued 
   serious pressure to bring about change in Burma through all possible 
   means, welfare.  We also ask for the international community's continued serious 
   pressure to bring about change in Burma through all possible means, 
   including diplomatic, business, and all political measures. 
   We respectfully vow to join together with people of all nationalities 
   to work to uplift the morale of the Union of Burma, to bring the 
   dictatorship to an end and give rise to the seeds of democracy.  
   - Overseas Mon Young Monks Union (OMYMU)
   - Overseas Mon National Students' Organization (OMNSO)
   - All Burma Students' League  (ABSL)- India,
   - All Burma Students' League (ABSL) - Thailand 
   - National League for Democracy - Youth (NLD)-  Thailand



Co-ordinating committee for Mon Unity League will hold a convention in 
early 1996, in Mon State, near the Thai-Burma border.The convention is to 
bring together representatives of various Mon Organisatoion and 
individuals who have taking part in Mon National Affairs. The main aims 
and objectives of the convention are to bring unity (unity and diversity) 
find the solutions the problems, share experiences and find ways and 
means how volunteers can be more effevtive in promoting Mon National 
The majority of Mon people have been deprived of liberty and have never 
exercised their rights. They have been living under dictatorial rule for 
many decades.  The Mon Unity hope to reverses this trend by bringing in 
exercised their rights. They have been living under dictatorial rule for 
many decades.  The Mon Unity hope to reverses this trend by bringing in 
genuine Democracy and liberty which will usher in lasting peace and 
prosperity to the Mon people and all people of Myanmar.
The Co-ordinationg committee of the Mon Unity League would like to take 
this opportunity to extend formal invitation to various Mon Organisation.
intellectuals and individuals who have devoted a great deal 
of their time and resources in furthering the Great Mon Cause.  To make 
   the preparation task of the convention easier we would now like you to 
   contact us as soon as possible, so that a formal invitation can be 
   extended to your address.
                                                     Coordination Committee
                                                    Mon Unity League(MUL)
   Mon Unity League,
   Nai Hongsa (Deputy secretary of New Mon State Party)
   Contacted phone and fax numbers are as follows:
   New Mon State Party headquarters, Thai-Burma border.
   Nai Phisarn (Chairman of Mon Information Service)
   Phone & Fax (662)4107844
   Mon Youth Community
   PO Box 11, Ratburana Bangkok 10140 Thailand
   Phone & Fax (662) 4286232



	Mr.Ruprecht von Arnim
	United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Date: September 5, 1995

SUBJECT: Invitation for monitoring of the repatriation of Mon refugees.

Dear Sir,

	The New Mon State Party ( NMSP ) has signed a ceasefire agree-
ment with SLORC, the military regime in Burma, at the end of June.

	Because of the prolonged civil war between the successive central
governments and ethnic nationalities armed forces, the local inhabitants
have suffered from the persecution of Burmese troops such as forced
relocation, forced labour, press-ganged for porterage to be used as mine
defectors and abuse of women porters. Even though those local inhabitants
have escaped systematic persecution to the Thai-Burma border, they have
recieved lack of protection from Thailand, and its governments also
barred the international community from offering possible protection and
assistance under the recognition of "refugee status".

	In view poin of our relief committee, the NMSP had to sign cease-
fire agreement because of the outside Thailand preassure and inside
SLORC inhumane treatments to Mon community. The example of resumed 
fighting in Karenni areas and other ethnic areas show the ceasefire 
agreement does not mean absolutely that peace is returned to Burma. And
it also means there is not enough safety for the refugees to return back
to their native villages where are deeply situated inside Burma, in the
current situations. However, because of the ceasefire, the refugees must
be repatriated to Burma side of the Border in coming dry season and we
would like those refugees who fled persecution to be repatriated under
secure conditions and it should be voluntary according to the established
international principles.

	Therefore, the MNRC has plan to repatriate Mon refugees to the
areas close to the border and if the situation becames unsafe because of
fighting, they could flee back into Thailand again in easily. We hope
that in the future, if the ceasefire holds, that the refugees can return
to their native areas at a later date. 

	To ensure for the safety of the refugees before, during and 
after repatriation, it must need a proper independent monitoring body.
As we hope, the most suitable international organization to establish
a proper independent monitoring body is your Bangkok branch UNHCR. We
would like you to consider this. We think only the UNHCR monitoring can
provide enough safety for the future of Mon refugees, provision for
adequate cross-border re-settlement relief assistance and other com-
munity reconstruction assistance as well. Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Sd/- Wongsa Pala
( Ven.Vongsa Pala)
Chairman, Mon National Relief Committee ( MNRC )



Request for the international community in repatriation of Mon refugees.

	Since the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has agreed for a ceasefire
agreement with SLORC, the MNRC hopes there is no more fighting in Mon
territory, but nobody can predict on the foreseen human rights violations
that may eventually be committed by SLORC. The accounts given by refugees
MNRC has recieved to the different refugee camps tell they have escaped
from their native villages because of the systematic persecution of
successive Rangoon military regimes.

	Even though the Thai government4s policy towards the Burmese
refugees is a strict one, some Thai autorities have sympathetic conside-
ration on Mon refugees and they were allowed to stay in Thai territories.
Under the strict policy, lack of protection and limited aid allowance
to them, the Mon refugees have taken haven for five years in Thai terri-
tories, after the Burmese troops attacked and occupied the NMSP head-
quarters in Three Pagoda Pass since 1990. The Mon refugees had to pass
hard experiences because of perpetual relocations by Thai autorities
in previous times. Even when the Thai autorities offered us the lack
of protection in their soil, which does not meet international standards,
anyhow we express our thankfulness for them.

	Thai government permitted the international aid agencies to help
our refugees to survive. Since 1990, after Mon refugee camps were set
up in Thailand, many Mon local inhabitants and other nationalities have
consistently taken refuge in Mon refugee camps after they abandoned and 
escaped from their native places because of abuses by Burmese troops.

	According to NMSP leaders who participated in the ceasefire
agreement, the SLORC has promised  to discontinue it4s systematic 
persecution, it might be safe for refugees to reside in Burma. In the
resettlement process we plan to resettle those refugees in seven areas
close to the border where it is easier to flee into Thailand if the
situation in Burma looks unsafe or the fighting takes place in Mon
areas again. Most of the areas are under the control of NMSP and its
military faction. The MNRC hopes, if the resettlement sites are safe
and land for growing crops is available, some immigrant families will
also join in. 

	But those Mon people who fled from the systematic persecution
need the repatriation under the protection of international refugee 
principles. In the repatriation process we request for the  international
community as an independent monitoring body for the repatriation because
we would like to ensure the following points.

1. The refugees must have cross border assistance for one year or
    until they can subsist on their own.
2. The refugees must reside in safe areas where no human rights violations
   will be committed by any group.
3. The refugees must have safe haven and flee into Thai territory if the
   fighting in Burma occured again and possible assistance of the inter-
   national NGO4s must be permitted.
4. The refugees shall need short term community construction aid and
   longterm development aid from the international community.

To ensure the mentioned points necessary for the refugees, the interna-
tional community should participate in the repatriation. Points mentioned
do not mean that we always carry refugees to Thailand or refuse to
return back deep inside Burma. If Burma returns to genuine peace and 
safety for all the civilian population, those people will return back
to their native places from where they originally had to escape.

For the whole opinion of MNRC, it released a suggestive statement on
June 29, 1995 by inviting the international community to participate in
the repatriation process of Mon refugees. The statemen is included. We
also adressed an invitation for Bangkok Branch UNHCR to consider and
participate in this repatriation process. The letter is included.

In conclusion, if those refugees do not recieve enough food assistance
and international assurance for safety, they must face food-shortage
problems and unstable situation. And, the presence of international
organizations such as UNHCR, diplomatic community and NGOs in the
repatriation process may contribute much to bolster the confidence of



Statement of the Mon National Relief Committee Regarding the
Repatriation Program of Mon Refugees.

As a recent political development in Burma, the New Mon State Party
( NMSP) and the State Law and Order Restoration Council ( SLORC )
cekebrated a ceasefire agreement on June 29, 1995.

The Mon National Relief Committee (MNRC) welcomes this good tidings.
After many years of miserable life Mon refugees now have an opportu-
nity to return back home in peace.

Mons never wanted to become refugees. They had to flee from their
native places in their homeland ( Mon State, Burma) because there
was fighting between the NMSP armed forces and the SLORC troops for
several years during which systematic persecution on Mon people,
such as forced relocation, forced labor, press-ganged for porterage
to be used also as mine detectors and abuse of women porters happened.

Mon people who fled persecution are entitled to be accepted as refugees,
in accordance with the international norms.

This means that these refugees are entitled to be repatriated under
secure conditions and it should be voluntary, according to the estab-
lished international principles.

As ceasefire agreement has been effected there will be no more fighting,
there will be no more fighting. The SLORC has promissed to discontinue
it4s systematic persecution, except using voluntarily given labor.

Even though the long-awaited ceasefire came into effect,  Mon refugees
are still reluctant to return because of their past miserable experiences.
Therefore Mon refugees need assurance for their safety and voluntary

The MNRC believes these refugees need preotection and assistance as
provided to other returning refugees worldwide.

The Mon National Relief Committee calls for the establishment or
identification of a proper independent monitoring body which can ensure
the safety of the refugees before, during and after repatriation.

The Mon National Relief Committee calls for the provision for cross-
border resettlement relief assistance for the Mon refugees for a period
of at least one year ( or until they can subsist on their own ).

We request the international community to provide us with development
aid to help us rebuild the Mon State which has been shattered by 
protracted civil war.

The Mon refugees now are looking forward to returning home and	are
hoping to go back as early as possible. However, to attempt to 
return them prematurely  without necessary protection and assistance
would cause uncertainty among the Mon refugees as to their future
existence in Burma and this could lead them to flee back to Thailand
once again in the near future.

The MNRC calls upon the international community working for Mon
refugees, the Royal Thai Government and the SLORC to ensure the
safe, secure and confident return of the Mon refugees.

Date: August 31, 1995	   Mon National Relief Committee
			   Thai-Burma Border