Mawlamyine, March (19)
A food offering ceremony to commemorate the 100th birthday of the late Mon national leader, a veteran political figure, Nai Ngwe Thein, will be held on March 19 at the Mon religious hall in Mawlamyine, according to the organizers.
Nai Ngwe Thein was born on March 19, 1923, in Hpa-an Htonai village, where the majority of Mon people live, in Karen State, and studied at Htonai National School.
After Nai Ngwe Thein became a student leader at the age of 15 while still a high school student in Pyapon Town, he continued his anti-imperialist activities throughout his university life at Yangon Judson College.
After joining the Burma Independence Army (BIA) at the age of 19 in 1942, he joined the Asian Youth Association and was active in a guerrilla group in Yangon District during the Japanese Revolution.
On July 28, 1948, he was arrested along with Nai Shwe Kyin for occupying the Zarthapyin police station and was imprisoned in Mawlamyin Prison.
After the Karen National Union (KNU) arrested and negotiated with Mawlamyine authorities, Nai Ngwe Thein was released in the early hours of July 31.
In 1950, he attended the KNU conference held in Hpapon along with the leader of the Karen people, Saw Ba U Gyi, and from the following year, he campaigned for the consolidation of the Mon community and territorial integrity.
At the end of February 1952, Nai Ngwe Thein took over as chairman of the Mon National Defense Organization (MNDO) and participated in the central executive committee of the formation of the Mon People’s Front (MPF).
Nai Ngwe Thein took the lead in the 8888 Uprising in 1988 along with ethnic organizations, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison in November 1991 for teaching political courses and publishing political books.
Nai Ngwe Thein was released from prison in August 1994 at the request of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), which was attempting to negotiate a ceasefire with the State Law and Order Restoration Council.
In 1998, he was again sentenced to seven years in prison because of the phrase “prolonging the military dictatorship of the State Law and Order Restoration Council” in a recommendation document sent to the NMSP.
After being released from Mawlamyine prison in June 2004, he continued his political activities and served as the temporary chairman of the Mon Democracy Party and as the chairman of the Mon National Party (MNP) in 2014 and 2015.
Nai Ngwe Thein retired as the party’s honorary patron in 2016 due to health issues, and passed away at his home in Yangon in October 2018.
News-Than Lwin Times