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Mon Information Service April 16
- Subject: Mon Information Service April 16
- From: ojasti@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 16:41:00
MON INFORMATION SERVICE APRIL 16 1996
1. MNRC APRIL 1996 REPORT
2. NMSP LETTER TO UNHCR-THAILAND
3. MON CANADA STATEMENT
4. ANALISIS ON THE CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT
1. MNRC APRIL 1996 REPORT
Unclear Definition,"Repatriation" for Mon Refugees.
Under the circumstances of fear of being repatriated by force,
the Mon refugees who have remained on Thai soil have not too
much opportunity to immovably reside in their camp after April
30 deadline. Since the concerned Thai autorities gave instruc-
tions for the Mon refugees to move into Burma side of the border
in December 1995, those remaining Mon refugees and their commu-
nity leaders have waited for international recognition and
monitoring they asked already in August 1995. There has been
no condition for them to achieve a well organized international
repatriation program in time and as the time was too close to
April 30 they had to move before the deadline mentioned.
According to the international principles of protection on
refugees, the preparation time for repatriation must be provided
and the repatriation must be voluntary. After the repatriation
they must be provided the needed re-integration assistance in
the new settlement sites. In the preparation process, the regis-
ters for the choices of the refugees must be done; the reception
camps must be created and the visiting access to setlement sites
or origin places must be provided under the protection of inter-
After the preparation of repatriation was completed, the process
for repatriation must be started. Mostly, in countries of origin,
the genuine peace already occurred and the government is also
ready to accept it4s people and provide well treatment.
In the situation of Burma the cease-fire agreement reached between
the ethnic nationalities and SLORC is only a initial step for peace.
But the country of asylum, Thailand, has considered such a initial
step as a genuine peace and would like to move the refugees along
the border back to their country of origin under the term of
"REPATRIATION". The MNRC accepted the term of repatriation as
meaning relocation and settlement of returnees when the inter-
national assistance is systematically envolved in all processes
including preparation, transportation and reintegration.
In fact, the present repatriation of the Mon refugees without the
involvement of the international organizations and under circum-
staces and conditions of fear to be returned by force, is not what
we understand by repatriation. Such a "repatriation" is unrealistic
for the Mon refugees.
The Mon refugees who have been moved under the circumstance of fear
and lack of international protection, which is organized by its
own community, must be simply defined as " cross border RELOCATION".
The situation in Burma is unacceptable for any repatriation in the
wake of cease-fire and also the government of the country is unwilling
to accept it4s own people, the Mon refugees, who are taking refuge
along the border in Burma side remain as internally displacen persons.
Once a democratic government comes to power those displacen persons
should be repatriated to their original living areas in accordance
with the international principles.
Even the MNRC has consistently requested for international involve-
ment to provide monitoring and protection, specially from the Bangkok
based UNHCR and since August 1995, the government of Myanmar (SLORC)
did not agree to allow UNHCR to participate in this repatriation,
according to UNHCR legal officers. SLORC ansvered that the inter-
national monitoring shall be available only when all the ethnic
nationalities along Thai-Burma border have agreed cease-fire with
the Rangoon military government. The MNRC has realized the type of
role the UNHCR assumes based in a country which is not a signatory
of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocols related to refugees
all over the world, due protection has just been impossible.
Actually the recent relocation was organized by the community it-
self to avoid the terrible situations which those refugees had
faced recently. Most Mon refugees and community leaders even faced
terrible situations of two forced repatriations, from Loh Loe
to Halockhani ( a vulnerable position close to Burmese troops4
outpost ) and from Thai soil to Halockhani after they were atta-
cked by Burmese troops. That is the reason why the refugees could
not delay but crossed the border and relocated in new sites.
The New Arrivals and Assistance Problems
As the cease-fire agreement did not mean an agreement of political
settlement, the SLORC autorities never reconsidered its practice
of forced labour or improved it4s human rights situation and
ignored the condemnation or complaint of even its ceasefire part-
In the case of conscription to forced labour at the 110 miles long
Ye-Tavoy railway construction, the New Mon State Party (NMSP )
also has complained to SLORC for its local troops and autorities4
inhumane labour conscription but the concerned military division
has simply ignored the complaint.
In the areas where the Mon, Karen and Tavoyan local inhabitants
are residing the conscription to forcen labour has been terrible
all the time and many villagers from several villages have con-
sistently fled to border area. On the other hand the local Bur-
mese troops also collect the high tax for portering fees and
other fees for the development projects.
The last arrivals, escaping such human rights abuses, have been
taking refuge in Tavoy district area and Halochani camps and at
the same time the internally displaced persons, immigrants from
Thailand also sought refuge in the resettlemnt sites. Compared
with the total population farmers from respctive camps, who have
slash and burnt rice cultivation in coming rainy season, are
only a few and it will be impossible to provide rice to all
In Tavoy District Area only 91 families of total population have
rice cultivation in nearby campsites and it has the smallest number
of farmers compared with other camps. The Halockhani camp has 259
families who grow rice while the Bee Ree camp has 143 families.
Although the Mon Resettlement Committee, an organization that was
formed by NMSP, has attempted to organize the refugees to grow
rice, most refugees were too busy building their houses and
other necessary constructions in camps and had not time enough for
the farmland cleaning.
Therefore, the MNRC expresses its concern on such situation: the
food shortage problems might ocurre at the end of this year. The
new crops will come out in December 1996 and estimatedly that
rice production can provide only one or two months food assistance
to all population. The food shortage problems can occur in coming
year 1997 and the refugees may have difficulties to survive. The
rice production is also totally dependent on rain and it can be
reduced by rain or climatic conditions.
Mainly the Tavoy District Area refugees shall need rice assistance
in the coming 1997, the MNRC is specially concerned of them. If
they face food shortage problems it might be impossible for all
family members to move into Thailand to seek job for survival. Un-
doubtetly they will not get any help from Burmese government or
SLORC while the NMSP also lacks funds to help them.
Furthermore, those displaced persons still need the help of the
international community in providing them with available food in
1997. Humanitarian consideration and collaboration of all the
parties concerned is needed to help that suffering people.
2. NMSP LETTER TO UNHCR-THAILAND
The New Mon State Party
Date 14th April 1966
Mr.Rurecht von Arnim
United Nations High Commission for Refugees Office
Subject: Re monitoring resettlement of Mon refugees.
With regard to the abovementioned subject, the Thai
Royal Government had given order to all Mon refugees to
evacuate from Payaw and Halokhani camps into Burma by 30th
Therefore, all of them have already evacuated to
areas around the sources of Kin Chaung (stream), Ye Chaung
and Baleh Doonphite.
Resettlement of refugees in respect of economic
stability, self-sufficiency, health and education are still
inadequate. That is why they are in need of special monitoring.
We therefore urge the United Nations High Commissiones for
Refugees to give every possible help to them.
( Nai Shwe Kyin )
3. MON CANADA STATEMENT
STATEMENT ON THE 239 TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
FALL OF MON KINGDOM HONGSAVATOI
As the 239th anniversary of the Mon kingdom Hongsavatoi is
on May 9 , 1996, we, the Mon National Organization of Canada,
have released this statement to express our deep concern for
the Mon people and the present situation in Burma.
The Mon kingdom, which was situated in the lower part of Burma,
had flourished in peace and prosperity for several centuries
until it was occupied by the Burman dynasty in 1757. At that
time the last kingdom was devastated and tens of thousands of
Mons including learned Buddhist monks, pregnant women and
children were being killed by king U Aungzeya of Burma.
After this massacre many Mons fled to the southern most part
of Burma and into Thailand to escape further oppression,
persecution and enslavement by the conqueror.
After Burma was independent from the British colonial rule in
1948, it became a country where protracted civil war raged on
seriously because of denying the rights to self-determination
of the ethnic peoples. The country that once was rich in South
East Asia had dropped down to one of the least developed coun-
try (LDC) in the world and the suppressive military regime,
namely State Law and Order Restoration Council ( SLORC )
seized state power by killing thousands of demonstrators in
a nation-wide uprising for democracy in 1988.
Currently, the military regime has reached a cease-fire
agreement with its opposition ethnic armed forces and it
seems a peaceful condition has been achieved to the satisfaction
of all the people of Burma. The New Mon State Party ( NMSP )
entered into a cease-fire agreement with the Burmese junta on
June 29 1995 and this deal contained no political solution
and as such was simply a military agreement. As a result of
this the Thai autorities have recently forced aproximately
14.000 Mon refugees to go back into Burma even as new comers
are arriving to avoid supression under the regime. At the
same time SLORC has considerably increased its use of
thousands of forced labour to speed up the construction of
the Ye-Tavoy railway, which connects Mon State and Tenessarim
Division for security of the billion dollar gas pipeline
project of the Total company of France and the UNOCAL
corporation of the United States.
Apparently, the Mon National Organization of Canada understands
that the agreement reached between NMSP and SLORC is not the
rights process for a genuine peace and it does not represent
the wishes of the Mons and majority of the other people still
living in Burma as well as overseas Mons. As the human rights
violations and oppression by the SLORC continue the suffering
of all peoples in Burma also continues
On this tragic day of the 239th anniversary of the fall of
Mon kingdom Hongsavatoi we, the Mon National Organization of
Canada, urgently recommend the international communities to
take the following action:
1) Stop the project of constructing a 500 mile gas pipeline
2) Stop the conscription of forced labour for constructing of
Ye-Tavoy railway and forced relocation of the villages.
3) Call a tripartite dialogue among the military regime of
SLORC, opposition democratic political parties and the
4) Permit international human rights observers and the United
Nations access to Burma to all prisons, detention centres
and ethnic areas.
5) Boycott companies doing business with the military regime.
6) Stop all arms trade with the military regime and pass a UN
resolution forbidding member states all military support to
May 9 1966
Mon National Organization of Canada
Fraser Street 6416 Suite 142
Vancouver, BC V5W 3A4
Tel/Fax ( 604 ) 321 9871
4. ANALISIS ON THE CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT
Analysis on the cease-fire agreement reached between NMSP
If we analyze the cease-fire agreement reached between NMSP and
SLORC on 29th June 1995 at the south-east command office in
Moulmein we see the following points clearly.
1) "Ceremony of NMSP denouncing the armed struggle and returning
into legal fold " was the official title used on the occation when
the two sides made cease-fire agreement.
2) Nai Htin, vice-president of NMSP, leader of Mon Delegation for
cease-fire agreement, has to admit in front of the audience that
NMSP denounces the armed struggle and returns into legal fold after
realizing the noble desire and sincere attitude of the State Law
and Order Resoration Council.
3) As a symbol of surrender, Lt.Gen. Aung Nai, joint chief of
staff of NMSP has to present the full list of Mon military forces
and their ammunitions to Lt.Gen Ket Sein, the commander of
southeast command at this ceremony.
4) NMSP has to retreat from its front posts and remain at 12
places enumerated by the SLORC.
5) Among 15 points accepted by the two sides as a gentleman-
agreement, there are some restrictions placed on NMSP which must
* NMSP can not recruit new soldiers.
* NMSP can not give any military training.
* NMSP can not collect any tax or revenue.
* NMSP can not parade in strength.
* NMSP can not contact with other revolutionary forces.
* NMSP can not make any contact with foreign countries and
6) After cease-fire agreement comes into effect, NMSP is not
allowed to discuss nor even present political issues to the
SLORC. Instead NMSP is allowed to present business and border
development projects only. In this way the SLORC hope to turn
the attention of Mon people from Political issues tu business
7) There is no limitation date for the period of cease-fire.
8) In the agreement reached between NMSP and SLORC, there are
no political rights for the Mon people and no political prin-
ciples, such as Self-Determination Rights, Equality or Freedom.
Nor does the agreement point towards a future constitution
for Burma and the Ethnic Minorities Federal Constitution of
9) The process of this cease-fire is absolutely out of the
international principles, practiced by the world leaders
in making cease-fire agreement.
* The two sides4 generals stay where they have been, on the day
they make cease-fire.
* The two sides must respect each other and must be dealt with
* The two sides can carry out their functions as usual without
any restriction put upon each other.
* There must be a fixed date for the period of cease-fire.
* The representatives from the two sides must sit together
face to face with equal status to discuss the political
issues, during the period of cease-fire.
10) It is very clear that NMSP has been forced, pressured or
persuaded by the third group in many ways and by the then
prevailing circumstances, at last NMSP has to bow down it4s
head to the pressure in making cease-fire agreement rather
than it could make decisions by it4s own will freely.
If we study the above mentioned points carefully, we can see
very clear that the agreement reached between NMSP and SLORC
is not a real cease-fire agreement. It is just an agreement
between NMSP and SLORC for a process of a new system of
surrender for NMSP and NMSP has been regarded and treated as
a surrendered party by the SLORC from the beginning.
We feel with great concern that NMSP would become one day
like a tree which bark is cut around it4s trunk and it is
impossible to develop again. Only when there are no leaves
left and only dried branches left on it that tree could
understand that it shall be dead in the near future.
We feel also with great concern on the point that NMSP
might be treated on day in the same way like a wild ele-
phant, after being captured by a hunter. At first the hunter
keeps the wild elephant without giving any food and water
to make elephant loose it4s physical strength and moral
strength. Only when the wild elephant is starving and dying
for food and ready to follow the words of the hunter the
elephant is allowed to have a little bit of food and
wather by a time. The food is increased a little bit by a
little bit depending on the obedience of that wild elephant.
At last the wild elephant has to follow the full orders of
the hunter and must become a good servant of that hunter.
The same as the wild elephant the NMSP might one day be in
the position to have to obey the instructions and orders of
SLORC for a small assistance and support and at the final
stage, we feel with great concern, the NMSP shall be regarded
and treated by SLORC as a loyal servant.
All human beings love peace, we also love peace. This is
the nature of human beings, we want lo live peacefully. It is
not a correct belief that whenever there is no fighting
against the rulers peace prevails. Such a conception leads to
tolerate whatever oppression, to the silence and quietness. It
ends the fight against the tyrants and does not fight for what
is right. Dictators always pretend to make people belive that
because of fighting against the rulers people have to live in
a miserable life and that stop fighting against the rulers iis
the only way to create peace in the country and only then people
could enjoy peaceful life.
This conception could support the SLORC to stay in power forever
after all the opposition groups renounce the armed struggle and
come into legal fold. Only when there is no more opposition
groups, the SLORC could treat the people the way they like. When
there is nobody to fight against the SLORC on behalf of the
opressed people, the people would be surely opressed more than
ever before. The armed resistance groups could enjoy better life
when there is no fighting while the people might live worst.
This is our analysis on the cease-fire agreement reached between
NMSP and SLORC on 29th June 1995 with a good mood and we only
would like to present the real accent of the cease-fire agreement
to Mon people so that the Mon people could take a right decision
with a clear version on the cease-fire agreement.
Mon National Council
18th February 1996