New Mon splinter group draws first blood
Tue 15 Sep 2009, IMNA
Assailants from a newly formed Mon splinter group shot and wounded 2 members of a larger Mon splinter group. This is the first such assault by members of the new Mon splitter group.
2 members of the Mon Peace and Defense Front (MPDF), Nai Pang and Nai Sein, were shot at about 9:00 am on Saturday September 12th, in front of the headquarters of Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 62 based in Thanbyuzayart town, Mon State. The attack was carried out by 2 members of the newly formed splinter group, the Mon Defense Front (MDF), according to NMSP members who spoke with the two injured MPDF soldiers at the Moulmein hospital.
An NMSP party member explained, “Before he [MPDF member] was shot, he saw the men who shot him, and he knew them from the MDF group.”
The MPDF is lead by the former NMSP General Nai Aung Naing, who formed the group after he left the NMSP with his soldiers in 2008. In the same year he agreed to a ceasefire with the Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). In April 2009 he joined a monastery, though his group has remained active helping him campaign for a position in the 2010 election.
According to a member of the NMSP Moulmein district committee, “The MDF group was formed by 3 soldiers that deserted from NMSP, and are now active between Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen State and Kyaikmaraw Township, Mon State.” The 2 members of the MDF identified as the shooters were Nai Than Lwin and Nai Thu Ra Win Myit, who conducted the assault using weapons typically carried by members of the NMSP. The newly formed MDF was recently active in August delivering letters to farmers demanding money to support their group, from farmers in Moudon township. Neither of the attackers were injured or arrested.
The NMSP Moulmein district office has been checking Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) battalions, for desertions, to confirm the identity of the two MDF members, to identify the 3rd, and determine how they obtained their weapons. “Now there is conflict between Mon groups, which may be part of the SPDC plan,” a member of the NMSP speculated.
Last April NMSP member Nai Min Naung, who was a member of the Moulmein district committee was shot and killed by members of the Mon splinter group, Nai Aung chan. Nai Aung Chan split to form his own rival faction, from the former NMSP general Nai Aung Naing’s MPDF.
Similarly, in May 2008 there was an assassination attempt on NMSP central committee member Nai Rajal. He was shot by unknown gunman in Thanbuyzayat township, though party member suspected the attack was carried out by members of the Nai Aung Chan group. Nai rajal was wounded but has since recovered.