Mon youth and monks release statement to commemorate fall of 2 Mon political heros

Fri 17 Jul 2009, IMNA, Asah
A group composed of Mon youth and young monks has released a statement calling for political reconciliation, and explains the significance of the work carried out by the 2 Mon political activists.

July 17th marks the 6th anniversary of the arrest of two Mon political prisoners, Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao, who were arrested by the Burmese military regime. The arrest has become a symbolic holiday for the Mon, in which Mon people are encouraged to continue to demand the release of political prisoners, and for national reconciliation.

Today the Mon Young Monks Union (MYMU) with the assistance of Mon youth released a statement to the Mon people and political groups, such as the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF).

The statement began demanding that the Burmese military regime immediately releases the two Mon political activists Nai Yekha, Nai Cheem Gakao, along with all other political prisoners including Daw Ang San Suu Kyi, Khun Tun Oo, Min Ko Naing, Min Zay Yar and Ko Ko Kyi.

According to one person close to the MYMU, the group’s aim is to educate as many Mon people about the political situation as they can, and try to get them interested and involved in politics.

“Every single Mon person has to know more about Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao, so we are releasing this statement,” he said. “Besides this, we also handed out a letter in Mon State.”

The statement focuses on the importance of National reconciliation, and what it really means to carry out a tri-partied dialog. The statement emphasized the importance of such talks, and stated that as the 2010 elections will unfold under Burmese military government control, and because of this, must be stopped.

The NMSP signed a cease-fire with the SPDC in 1995. After the signing, Nai Yehka began organizing and teaching because he believed that any political changes made must come from the people of Burma. For this reason he taught politics and political defiance to people, including monks, students, youths, farmers and women. His activism increased, and he met Nai Cheem Gakao, with whom he participated in the 8-8-88 uprising, according to the statement. After these activities the two Mon political activists became a primary target for the military, which hoped to arrest them. Because of the increasing threat of arrest, a few years later Nai Yehka escaped to the insurgent held regions along the Thai-Burma border in 1989. There his political activism increased, and much of his activism shifted to focus on human rights issues and the goal of national reconciliation, according to the MYMU statement.

The statement explains Nai Yehka organized people and encourage them to form associations and organizations base on their interests. As his activities became popular among Mon people, and his popularity became a threat to the power of Burmese military regime. As a result, on July 17, 2003, he was arrested by the military regime in a trap. Both activists were initially sentenced to death, however they were commuted to life in prison.

According to the NMSP General- Secretary Nai Hong Sar, “Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao were arrested by the Burmese government with bomb explosive materials. The government tortured and forced them to admit in the court that they were tied to a plot to blow up the tomb [of general Ang San Su Kyi] in Rangoon. The NMSP didn’t have a chance to meet with two prisoners.”

“The bomb explosive materials were not connected with Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao,”said Nai Hong Sar. “They had already fallen into the Burmese government trap and we couldn’t help them. We asked the SPDC to release these two prisoners but they didn’t respond.”

According to the MYMU statement, Nai Yehka was a good organizer among the Mon youth and he was also respected by many people. Nai Cheem Gakao was knowledgeable about weapons, their repair, and building bombs.

According to the statement Nai Yehka and Nai Cheen Gakao were members of the NMSP about 10 years. Since their arrest, Nai Yehka has been held in Insein prison in building 4, room 6 and Nai Cheen GaKao has been moved Tharrawaddy ‘s prison in Pegu division , according to a inside source.

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