Is Mon people’s support for the stance of New Mon State Party dwindling?

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Ye Chaung Phyar, July (13)

After the military took full control of the country, there are some doubts among the Mon people ,who have been affected by the civil war, about the position of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), which has always held to solve the political problem only through political means.

On July 5 and 6, representatives of the National Solidarity and Peacemaking Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) of the military council met with the vice-chairman of the NMSP, Nai Aung Min, and members of the Central Executive Committee, Nai Banyar Lei and Nai Aung Mangae.

The Central Executive Committee of the New Mon Party has temporarily suspended the discussion on politics, but said that it will continue to discuss the issues of education, health, and transportation as agreed.

Thiri Mon Chan, chairman of the Mon State Defense Force (MSDF)’s Political and Military Leadership Committee, considers that the position of the Central Committee of the New Mon State Party is not to maintain a direct relationship with the military council, but to retain the status quo.

When the military council started seizing power, some Mon people believed that the position of the New Mon State Party was to keep the Mon region and the Mon people safe from conflict and to attend the peace meeting to avoid fighting with the military council.

The New Mon State Party was able to prevent themselves from engaging in combat, but since the start of 2023, the civil war that has been raging in nearly all of the nation’s regions has gradually spread to the region under the New Mon State Party’s authority.

“In this situation, the New Mon State Party did not participate in the revolution, and on the other hand, it continued to hold talks with the military council, and the support of the Mon people in the region for them decreased because it could not protect the conflict-affected Mon people,” according to a Mon ethnic affairs analyst, who added that “If fighting happens in a village where Mon people live, the New Mon Party can’t do anything. The best they can do is file a complaint with the military council and donate to the displaced people. That’s all”.

On the other hand, the allied forces of the Karen National Union (KNU) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) are starting to control the Mawlamyin-Ye-Dawei road near the territory of the NMSP.

Currently, there are frequent clashes between the junta army and the joint force of PDFs and KNU near Ye Township, where the New Mon Party’s headquarters is located.

The junta’s air raid and artillery shelling have reportedly injured or killed local residents and Mon people in some Mon villages.

According to a local Mon woman, regular Mon people are supposed to follow the New Mon Party’s leadership, and given the current situation, they are protecting themselves rather than entrusting the NMSP.

The New Mon State Party has asked the Mon State Council and the Southeast Regional Command to take responsibility for the civilian deaths caused by junta attacks, but locals said that the military council will not carry out more than compensation.

Nai Htaw Yaw, a member of the Mon State Federal Council (MSFC), claimed that although public backing for the NMSP is now declining, it would restore itself if the party’s political stance could be changed.

In an interview with the independent Mon News Agency in June, the chairman of the NMSP, Nai Han Thar, said that they will join the fight against the military dictatorship, if all ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) are involved.

Following the military coup, the NMSP met with the military council six times, either individually or as a group, despite the Mon people’s objections.

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) is an ethnic armed organization that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) under the NLD government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: MOI

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