By Nai Banya Hongsar, Mon Writer Club – Brave new Burma is under the effort of national reconciliation for peace and unity with the sincerity of political leaders among Burmese and Non Burmese elites that attract further investment and market economy in resource rich nations at one of the poorest country in Southeast Asia. It is a long road to peace and a painful journey for reconciliation. Mission is possible with sense of unity for diversity and unity for common purpose of serving the people for a better place to live and enjoy human’s experiences of enlightenment in the Buddhist dominated cultural rich land.
A peace deal signed by delegates of the government and New Mon State Party this week has indicated that both parties agreed ‘to continue talks on national reconciliation, based on political compromises with participation of representatives of domestic national political parties and democratic forces’.
Political compromise is the factor that will test this peace deal with other unprecedented issues on border trade, local economy and development, access to natural resources and rights to collect levy / fees from local farmers in border and regional areas by both parties. In fact, NMSP has duty of care to it’s over 7000 members for welfare and other healthcare like the government’s public servants. NMSP’s leaders put their faith to the hand of President Thein Sein and peace maker, Minister U Aung Min with sense of unity and reconciliation.
A well regarded Mon leaders, led by Nai Rot Sa, Deputy Chairman of NMSP and his well-informed delegates understood the risk but well calculated the risk factors due to time of circumstances.
According source from Moulmein, top official of the National League for Democracy wishes to urgently meet Nai Rot Sa, as he is regarded the most flexible and pragmatically approachable politician among non-Burmese ethnic leaders for further peace and national reconciliation. Nai Rot Sa built a united voice of 17 cease-fire forces from 1995-2005 during ten year of informal cease-fire deal with the previous military government for constitutional changes at the former National Convention.
Under the vision of Nai Rot Sa and other ethnic leaders, the six cease-fire alliance of the ethnic leaders from Shan, Mon, Ka Yan and Pa Long issues an official statement on 1 March 2001,12 February 2002, 1 July 2003 for ‘peace and unity’ among people of Burma between the ruling military elites and non-Burmese nationalities. Despite the genuine effort of the ethnic leaders for ‘peace and unity’ during 1995-2005, the ruling military detailed nine key figures of Shan leaders on 9 February 2005 with an accusation of linked with the armed Shan armies. The peace and unity hope has been diminished from this event until the new election in 2010. However, the setback of the peace process in late 2004, the ethnic cease-fire alliance signed a letter to the National Convention’s Chairman on 13 February 2005 for reviewing the proceeding of the Convention that reflects the principle and democratic standard. During 2003, 28 armed and non-armed ethnic organizations with a total of 89 delegates participated at the National Convention for ‘peace and unity’. In fact, NMSP’s leaders played a key role for the alliance. Nai Rot Sa, the Deputy Chairman of the party earns a well acknowledgement for his good effort to reach this point.
A test of NMSP and other Mon leaders is whether the scope of ‘compromise’ and room for negotiation for further legitimate executive powers will be seen in the next 3-6 months. The Mon leaders including Monks and youth alliance amended the Mon State (Remonnya) Constitution in 2006 at the Mon National Conference in liberated Area. This draft document, the best of its kind for a State Constitution in Burma shall be widely reach and debate in the next few months. If the this constitution is not officially table at the next peace deal, the peace process is likely to drag longer with sense of lost in the past 10 years of the making deal for cash for development and cash for road construction.
Mon State is a hub of commercial and agricultural lands in the last thousand years during British and post British era. Tavoy Ports is at the next door of Mon State. A future prospect of Mon State for booming economy and foreign investment is vastly attacked to the new investors only if peace is signed and sealed legally and constitutionally.
The new Peace agreement is the first step for lasting and un-conditional cease-fire and ceasing civil war. It is the brave new Burma, and the leadership of NMSP and other Mon leaders for this transition. A pragmatic character is count.
The Mon leaders, the generation of past Mon elites and new Mon generations have the popular support from homeland and aborad including US, EU and Australia’s governments. Australian’s Senator Mr Gary Humphries recently addressed at the Mon National Day in Canberra that acknowledged ‘Mon people deserves a self-determination and freedom’ in Monland, and the Mon National Day shall be celebrated as “Mon Independent Day’ in the future.
After 15 years of searching room for peace, space for unity and scope for compromise in politics, the Mon and former rulers of the Monland, the Burmese reached a lasting peace this week shall be acknowledged that it is a long and painful road for peace and unity. It is only a meaningful peace if the leaders of our country put the national interest ahead of cash for development, and democracy for power. It is time that the Mon ruling elites and the Burmese rulers read the history of Mon and Burmese long diplomatic and wars conflicts and relations from 11th -17th. Mon and Burmese, the former enemy in the history and the alliance of anti-British have come closed for a peace and unity that sustain the golden land for a place of joyful human being.