New Mon ‘working committee’ members organize Mon people

Mon 28 Sep 2009, IMNA, Rai Maraoh
The new Mon group, calling itself the ‘working committee’ has been organizing Mon people in advance of a potential move to become a full fledge political party prior to the 2010 election.

While not yet a political party, the self titled ‘working committee’ has been building a potential support base, organizing Mon people from 2 states and 2 divisions.

“The main point of our organizing people has been to we explain the current political situation and discus about 2010 election,” said a member from the ‘working committee’. “We explain how we need the party for our Mon people.”

In advance of the 2010 election, the ‘working committee’ has already recruited the support of at least 30 people in 1 township. While they are working to increase their support base, according to sources the group members will report in on the success they have had thus far, at their monthly meeting.

Committee members have cited two primary concerns that have thus far kept them from announcing their status as a genuine political party. Party members hope that the Burmese government will review the 2008 constitution, to ensure guarantee a free and fair election. Additionally, the committee has stated that it will consider participating once it is able to review the Burmese government’s electoral rules for the 2010 election. After reviewing the rules and conditions for party formation, the ‘working committee’ members will then decide weather or not they will pursue the formation of a Mon political party.

The largest Mon political party, the New Mon State Party (NMSP), stated in January that it would not participate in the 2010 election as long as the SPDC refused to make changes to the 2008 constitution.

Thus far committee members have been organizing support from people in Yangon, Pago, Kyaikhto ,Thaton,Paung, Pa-an, Chaung-Zone, Bee-lin, Moulmein, Mudon, Thanbuyzayat, Kainn-seikkyi , Ye township and along the Thai-Burma border.

Focusing on individual elements with the communities, ‘working committee’ members have specifically met with Mon youth organizations, Mon culture and literature organizations, and 1 on 1 with community leaders. According to committee members, thus far they not encountered any on the ground interference from Burmese government authorities.

“We have 15 members in the committee and are organizing people from different places,” a committee member explained. “We’re gathering support by explaining about the coming 2010 election and explaining about the policies of the government.”

As previously reported by IMNA in July, the Mon ‘working committee’ officially founded after the New Mon State Party’s 14th anniversary of its ceasefire agreement, on June 29th 2009.

Its 15 members have came from a variety of leadership circles, including former members of the NMSP, former members of the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), retired Burmese civil servants and some Mon intellectual circles. Specifically, the committee includes 3 Mon abbots and the MNDF leaders Nai Tun Thein and Nai New Thein.

“The main point of in our committee has been to organize people for 2010 election, but we’re not sure if we’ll participate in the coming 2010 election,” a second member of the working committee explained. “It is dependent on the government rules coming out for the election – we have to wait until the government announces the rules for the election. After we know the government rules we can decide to participate or not.”

The Burmese government announced it will hold the 2010 election in accord with the 7 step ‘roadmap’ to a ‘disciplined democracy’ as it first announced by Gen Khin Nyunt in 2003. However the NMSP and MNDF on principle have already refused to join the 2010 election, citing fraud and manipulation in the formation of the 2008 constitution.

At the end of every month, members of the ‘working committee’ meet to review the status of their plan and they discuss their potential position for the future election.

The last election in Burma was held in 1990, in which the democratic party, the National League for Democracy, won in a landslide taking 348 of 448 parliamentary seats. However the election results were denied by the Burmese government. The MNDF, an ethnic Mon democratic party, was banned by the government in 1992 two years after the 1990 election.
imna news

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