NMSP reaches final decision on joining BGF

The New Mon State Party has rejected a plan to transform its army into a Border Guard Force, Kaowao has learned.  The NMSP’s armed wing, the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA), was ordered to form a Regional Militia Force (or) Hta-Nay Pyithu-Sit at a meeting held earlier this month between the NMSP and SPDC in the capital of Mon State, Moulmein.

The ethnic armed cease-fire groups including the NMSP were given an April 22nd deadline on whether to form a BGF according to the junta’s demands. The Burmese junta wants the ethnic armed groups to be administered by the Burmese Army Tatmadaw forces along the border areas.

The NMSP responded to Major General Ye Myint, the military junta’s chief negotiator from Military Affairs Security, who had warned the Mon last week that failing to agree to the plan will be an act of war against the Burmese government.

The NMSP’s Vice President Nai Rotsa said the final decision was made during the Central Committee meeting this week with a reply being sent to the SPDC.

After reaching their final decision not to transform their army, Nai Hongsar, the secretary of the NMSP, commented that, “Our revolution will never weaken.  There is no democracy and ethnic rights in Burma . . . these are the root causes of the conflict in Burma”.

The first meeting between the NMSP, comprised of Vice President Nai Rotsa, Nai Chan Toi, Nai Tala Nyeh, Nai Htawara and Colonel Layeh Gakow, and the junta’s Chief Military Affairs Security Maj-Gen Ye Myint took place at the Southeast Command in Moulmein on April 7th, 2010.The President of the NMSP General Htaw Mon said to a Kaowao reporter, “It is a critical time not only for the NMSP but for the Mon population as a whole.”

“It is very impressive to see the judgment day for the NMSP and how our leaders responded to it. Pressure is mounting and it is unacceptable for the NMSP and MNLA to become a border guard force or militia.  The NMSP leaders know how to serve the general population and deal with problems in a peaceful manner,” said a veteran of the NMSP who lives in Thailand.

The Burmese Army is stepping up plans to enforce state security by controlling all the ethnic armed ceasefire groups in the border areas who are being pressured to provide security along Burma’s border regions ahead of the general elections which are to be held later this year. Many observers believe the SPDC is pressuring the ethnic cease-fire groups to become a BGF in order to restrict and control their movements.

During the cease-fire deal in 1995, the NMSP was designated 14 areas but the SPDC has occasionally intruded into their zones in recent months.

At the Central Committee meeting of the NMSP last month, the Mons decided not to join the Border Guard Force or the upcoming general election.

The recent meeting after the Songkran New Year was a critical moment for the NMSP and, many Mons are waiting on the edge of their seats to know what the junta’s next move will be on whether it will carry out its threat or back down on launching a war against the ethnic groups.

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