Five ethnic leaders have received a National Reconciliation Hero Award from the Norway-based 88 Generation group in exile. Mon leader Nai Ngwe Thein is among those receiving the award, as is Phado Mahn Sha La Phan, the only recipient to also be an armed revolutionary.
“National reconciliation plays the main role in our struggle for true democracy and national equality,” reads a statement released to mark the award on February 14th. “These selfless people continue to work for the country bravely despite the oppression of military government’s oppression, tortures, killing and imprisonment” (sic).
“This prize is an honor for ethnic people who try to get democracy and human rights,” agreed U Nyan Win, spokesperson for the National League for Democracy (NLD). The NLD is Burma’s largest opposition political party, lead by Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Recipients of the award included Nai Ngwe Thein, from the Mon National League for Democracy (MNDF) and Phado Mahn Sha La Phan. Phado Mahn Sha La Phan was the late secretary general of the Karen National Union (KNU). He was assassinated in his home in February 2008.
The award to Phado Mahn Sha La Phan is notable for he was a crucial member of a group that was – and still is – engaged in armed struggle with the Burmese government. The KNU is Burma’s longest-fighting insurgent group, and took up arms soon after Burma achieved independence in 1948. “For Phada Mahn Sha, that honor is worthy and deserved,” added U Nyan Win.
“The international community has given honors to people trying to implement democracy and human rights in Burma. But until now they had not recognized ethnic people who are trying to implement real democracy in Burma. This national reconciliation prize highlights these leaders for the Burmese people,” said Nai Hong Sa, General Secretary of the New Mon State Party (NMSP). The NMSP is the largest political party representing Mon people in Burma.
“Even though some fought as armed revolutionaries, they understand that this era is not for fighting with guns,” added Nai Hong Sa. “Ethnic armed groups also want national reconciliation. Phado Mahn Sha is that kind of person, that’s why that prize was bestowed upon him.” The NMSP agreed to a cease-fire with Burma’s military government in 1995.
“We aren’t hoping to get a prize from the international community when we try to get democracy for our country,” added Nai Ngwe Thein, who received the award on behalf of the MNDF. The MNDF won 5 seats in Burma’s 1990 election, which was later annulled. “The prize committee also chooses which person they should give the prize too. That prize also improves morale for the people trying to get ethnic reconciliation and an example for the youth.”
Pado Mahn Sha- Heroes never die-Congratulation
You must be logged in to post a comment.