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Home > Main Library > Non-Burman and non-Buddhist groups > Ethnic groups in Burma (cultural, political) > Single Groups > Mon (cultural, political)

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Mon (cultural, political)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Rehmonnya" - human rights and media website (English/ Mon/ Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Description/subject: "The HURFOM was founded by pro-democracy students from the 1988 uprising and more recent activists and Mon community leaders and youths, and it main aim is for the restoration of democracy, human rights and genuine peace in Burma. HURFOM is a non-profit organization and all its members are volunteers who have the same opinion for the same aim. By accepting the main aim, we would like to participate in struggle for the establishment of a democratic Burma doing our part as a local ethnic human rights group, which is monitoring the human rights situation in Mon territory and other areas southern part of Burma. We provide information and reports to all campaign organizations to get helps from the international community for democratic reform in Burma. For this project, HURFOM has produced a monthly human rights report, with the name of “The Mon Forum” for 9 years."
Language: English, Mon, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2004

Title: Mon Culture and Literature Survival Project
Description/subject: "The Mon Culture and Literature Survival Project (MCL) is a group of people both Mon and foreigners who are concerned with the preservation of the cultural identity of the Mon people. The MCL is a non-denominational and non-political organization with the sole interest of preserving Mon culture. The MCL currently consists of 12 members of different nationalities (Mon, Thai, Swiss, and American) and is currently being registered as a non-profit organization in Switzerland with the official registration number due in March-May 2001. MCL's Southeast Asian hub is in the town of Sangkhlaburi, Thailand. The MCL works closely with other organizations and people who are involved in the study, promotion, and preservation of Mon culture. The MCL supports the Mon people, situated in Burma and Thailand, in their endeavors to preserve, promote, and pass on their cultural identity in all its aspects to future generations. The principal activities of the MCL include the education of children and adults, the preparation of necessary teaching materials, as well as the support of their daily cultural practices. Currently the Mon population is under 2 million people." Monland: Who Are The Mon People; Latest News. Language: Mon Phonetic Code; Mon Bilingualism. Literature: Proverbs of the Mon; Legends of the Mon; Daily Life and Traditions: A Monk's Funeral; Mon Food; Mon Medicine; Mon Holidays and Calendar; Mon Faces; Traditional Dress. Music: The Crocodile Harp. History: National Symbols and Anthem: The MCL: History and Achievements; Goals; Statutes of the MCL. Help the MCL. Activities of the MCL: MCL School; MCL Christmas; Youth International.
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Monland Restoration Council
Description/subject: Lots of stuff on the site -- news, statements, research, articles in Mon and English, list of Mon organisations, links, photo gallery, Mon politics, literature and history and lots more.
Language: English, Mon
Source/publisher: Monland Restoration Council
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: The Mon Information Home Page
Description/subject: Last updated June 1995. Good on Mon history and language. Includes Mon hypertext grammar.
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Voices of the People: "A Collection of Stories of people of Burma"
Description/subject: "These are Burma’s voices for change, extraordinary stories of people of Burma from all walks of life. Their experiences, struggles, fears, and successes. These are unheard stories of incredible spirit of resilience and courage, voices of hope and dreams that have emerged from decades of oppression. Help us spread these voices across the globe!"...Stories and voices from Karen, Karenni, Shan, Kachin, Chin, Rakhine, Mon, Palaung, Pa-O, Nagas and other ethnic minorities.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 March 2016

Individual Documents

Title: Land Confiscation Continues under the Name of Development: Mon Human Rights Defender Nai Aue Mon
Date of publication: 29 February 2016
Description/subject: "“We have to work with the voice of the people,” Nai Aue Mon tells me in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, as we discuss the recent rise of land confiscation and land disputes in the Mon State. Aue Mon has been with the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) since 1999, when he started witnessing the abuse and violations of the rights of civilians in the Mon State. He first began working as a journalist for the Mon publication Guiding Star, before beginning his work as documenting and defending human rights. In this in-depth interview, Nai Aue Mon explains about the historical and current human rights situation in the Mon areas, as well as the ongoing and emerging struggles and challenges faced by the tens of thousands of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in his native Mon State. Nai Aue Mon has great hopes for the future of the country, particularly in the context of the new NLD government taking office. But amidst these hopes, however, on the ground situation indicates a turn from physical violations to increasing land conflicts driven “under the name of development.” Nai Aue Mon is now the Program Director of HURFOM, and hopes to realise their long term goal of bringing transitional justice and memorialization activities to the victims of this decades-long abuse."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 March 2016

Title: Historical Perspective on Mon Settlements in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "The Mon who belong to the Mon-­Khmer stock of Austro-­‐Asiatic sub-­family were the old inhabitants of both Myanmar and Thailand. In Myanmar, they migrated from the north along the rivers of Mekong, Thanlwin and Ayeyarwaddy. When the M on came to Myanmar, they were known as Raman which name was later simplified as Raman and shortened to Mon. The usage of ‘Ramañña’ is also found in Bago Kalyani inscription of 1476 AD. Thus the name ‘Ramaññ’ did not emerge only in 15th century AD but existed from the early centuries. It was also found that the all-­inclusive term ‘Rama ññadesa’ has its roots in the three Mon regions of Pathein, Muttama and Hanthawaddy. Since the terms Ramaññadesa and Suvaññabhumi were alternately used in the old Indian literature and oldest chronicles of Srilanka, Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, composed in 4th and 6th century. Traditionally, Suvaññabhumi (Thaton) was the centre from which the Buddhism spread up to the whole country. Different concepts of the old city site of the Mon settlements were reviewed and the finding of the artifacts and the tradition revealed that the coastal area of Lower Myanmar happened to be of the settlements of Mon inhabitant.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Khin May Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (145K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2015

Title: Mon Diaspora and the Relationships with their Homeland
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "This article aims to explain the relations of Mon diaspora at Baan Wang Ka, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand with their homeland. It argues that such relationships are diverse and reflect the complexity of notion of “Bifocality” explaining that homeland is the place of spiritual and cultural roots while host countries are more associated with economic and livelihoods. Mon diaspora has been living in Baan Wang Ka since AD. 1948. The ethnic suppression policies in Myanmar are the major cause of transnational mobility of these people, although, in the later periods, some of them left their homeland to go to Thailand for trading and eventually resettled at the village. Currently, Mon people in the village include four generations who were from Myanmar and heirs of those from Myanmar, however these people associate with their homeland differently. Some relate to their homeland as the place of spiritual and identity of Mon origin. For others, their connections to homeland have to do more with economic than cultural and spiritual dimensions. Such diverse relationships related to not solely generation differences and causes of migration, but also individual’s experience, economic opportunity, legal status, social status in Thailand as well as religious belief. On another score, the diversity of relationships has also associated with their homeland and host country contexts.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Patcharin Lapanu
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (232K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2015

Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "Burma‘s ethnic conflict is one of the longest conflicts in the world. The conflict has been ongoing since 1948. The conflict has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and thousands more have become refugees or internally displaced persons. This study attempts to explain the root causes of ethnic conflict in Burma through an in-depth analysis of the Mon ethnic group as a case study. Based on the results of the analysis, the study presents possible solutions to the conflict. The results show that the conflict is caused by three major factors: threats to ethnic identity, nationalist sentiments, and images of out-group. When the Mon ethnic identity was identified and measured, the Mons are highly nationalistic and strongly identified with their group. Thus, they are prompted to respond to threats to their identity. Major factors explaining the threats to Mon ethnic identity are the loss of territory, downgrading of identity, restrictions on the teaching of language and literature, and practicing of culture, the destruction of national symbols, internal migrations and population transfer, intermarriage, and threats of annihilation. The Mon have a barbarian image of the Burman because they see Burman as superior in capability, inferior in status, and as having harmful intentions. The level of in-group identity also v has a positive correlation with the level of barbarian image. These two variables (identity and barbarian image) also have positive correlations with the level of conflict. This implies that those who have higher levels of in-group identity and a greater barbarian image of the Burman results in higher levels of conflict. The level of barbarian image also shows a positive correlation with the forming of alliances with other non-Burman ethnic groups and fighting against the Burman. The current Burmese government‘s ―seven steps road map‖ will not provide a solution to the ethnic conflict in Burma. Burma‘s ethnic problems could be solved by dialogue among all stakeholders, democratization, power-sharing, and the forming of a super-ordinate identity. These can happen through the establishment of a genuine federal political system that guarantees autonomy to all ethnic groups in Burma."
Author/creator: Pon Nya Mon, Ph.D.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Washington State University (Doctoral Dissertation)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB) 286 pages
Date of entry/update: 11 September 2011

Title: An Enduring Culture
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: The Mon, one of the earliest indigenous people in the Thai-Burmese area, were instrumental in disseminating Buddhism to the region. Nowadays they face a fight for cultural survival... " CONCENTRATED in the mountainous border area of Burma and Thailand, up to three million Mon are struggling to preserve their culture and language. Researchers and anthropologists worry that Mon culture may disappear entirely, deliberately assimilated through the policies of both the Thai and Burmese governments. Thai military officials observe a Mon festival in Samut Sakhon near Bangkok. (Photo: Bangkok Post) As evidence, they point to Moulmein, the capital of Mon State in Burma, where the name of the Mon National Museum was changed by Burmese authorities to the “National Museum,” and members of the Mon Literature and Culture Association were replaced by junta associates. In Thailand, meanwhile, security officials pressured organizers of the annual Mon National Day festival in February to refrain from singing and dancing, to limit the festival to one day, to identify the organizers of the festival and ban the participation of unregistered workers from Burma. In addition, Thai officials also urged the public not to support the Mon cultural events at Samut Sakhorn, home to almost 200,000 workers from Burma, the majority of whom are Mon..."
Author/creator: Lawi Weng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008

Title: Waiting Game
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Junta tightens control in Monland... "As in other ethnic regions of Burma, where ceasefire agreements have been a growing source of frustration and bitterness, Monland in southern Burma has also seen its share of broken promises and the increasing likelihood that lasting peace is still a long way off. The New Mon State Party—the region’s principal ethnic opposition group—entered a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon in 1995, at the urging of the country’s military leadership as well as members of Thailand’s political and business communities, who were eager to increase investments in the region. Foreign oil companies, such as France’s Total and Unocal in the US, saw peace in the region as good for business. Each had proposed a natural gas pipeline through contested areas of Mon State—a fact that caused the regime to exert greater pressure in the interest of increasing vital foreign investment. In 1996, the NMSP received 17 industrial concessions in areas such as logging, fishing, inland transportation, trade agreements with Malaysia and Singapore, and gold mining. The regime, however, had cancelled the majority of these contracts by 1998, leaving NMSP leaders with little in terms of economic support and weakening the opposition party..."
Author/creator: Louis Reh
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006

Title: Mon Culture: Dying or Reviving?
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "One of Southeast Asia’s oldest cultures is under threat of extinction. Defenders of Mon identity and language are working to ensure its survival... During his defense hearing at a court in the Mon State capital of Moulmein, Mon Buddhist abbot U Palita refused to speak in Burmese, even though he knew it well enough. "This is Mon-land," he argued, "where I should be able to speak Mon in official matters." The authorities eventually acquiesced and arranged for an interpreter to translate his words into Burmese. That was 1975, a year after Burma’s socialist government granted statehood to the Mon in Burma’s southeast. Yet despite this concession, the Mon were without any real autonomy. Rangoon continued to control many of the state’s affairs and insisted that the Mon speak Burmese in all official matters..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2003

Title: Mon Language in Thailand: The endangered heritage
Date of publication: 11 May 2003
Description/subject: "This paper will give the picture of Mon language situation in Thailand both spoken and written language from the earliest time to the present day. The written language will include inscriptions, palm leaf manuscripts, and printed books..."
Author/creator: Paphatsaun Thianpanya,
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kao Wao News Group
Format/size: html (60K)
Date of entry/update: 12 May 2003

Title: War, History and Identity (a review of Ashley South
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "A new book on the Mon ethnic group makes a much-needed contribution to the study of Mon history and sheds light on some of the complexities of Burma’s ethnic conflicts... Although ethnic conflict is a key issue in modern Burmese politics, few writers and researchers seem to have covered the topic in detail. Ashley South’s latest book, Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Goldensheldrake (Routledge Curzon, 2002), is perhaps the first comprehensive study of Mon history and offers a timely contribution to the issue of Burma’s ongoing ethnic conflicts... South’s detailed and authoritative book is a must for all interested in Mon history and ethnic minority politics, and for those curious about the dynamics of the civil war and conflict that has raged in Burma for more than 50 years..."
Author/creator: Tom Kramer
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: May 2003

Title: MON - Die vergessenen Flüchtlinge in Thailand
Date of publication: 1995
Description/subject: Mon - the forgotten refugees in Thailand Das Volk der Mon ist die Urbevölkerung im heutigen Kernland von Thailand, im Gebiet von Bangkok in Richtung burmesische Grenze (Kanchanaburi Provinz) sowie im benachbarten burmesischen Bergland und im Kerngebiet des heutigen Burma mit seiner Hauptstadt Rangoon. Einst Träger einer frühen und hochentwickelten buddhistischen Kultur, wurden sie in den vergangenen Jahrhunderten von anderen, aus Norden eindringenen Völkern immer mehr verdrängt. Sie stellen heute sowohl in Thailand wie in Burma eine stark benachteiligte ethnische Minderheit dar. Die Mon in Burma führen seit Jahrzehnten zusammen mit zahlreichen anderen ethnischen Minderheiten einen Kampf um ihre Unabhängigkeit und eigenständige Entwicklung. Diese Bestrebungen werden von der Militärjunta mit einem systematischen Vernichtungsfeldzug beantwortet.
Author/creator: Hans-Günther Wagner
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten
Alternate URLs: http://cscmosaic.albany.edu/~gb661/moncamps.html (Photos of the refugee camps at Halockhani and Lohloe -- 1994?)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003