Kawkayeik, 13 August
With the permission of the military council, troops of the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) of the New Mon State Party, an NCA-signatory ethnic armed organization, have been conducting extensive security patrols, according to locals.
The MNLA troops have recently increased security patrols in some Mon villages in Karen State’s Kawkayeik Township and those in Mon State’s Kyaikmaraw Township, in the administrative area of Thaton District.
The MNLA forces have conducted security patrols in full uniform along the Mudon-Thanbyuzayet road, including certain Mon villages in Mudon, Thanbyuzayet, and Ye Townships, since the second week of July.
After the New Mon State Party met with The National Solidarity and Peacemaking Negotiation Committee (NSPNC) in Nay Pyi Taw in the first week of July, its subordinate forces began conducting security patrols in Mon villages.
The NMSP’s security patrols are supported by some Mon people, but have drawn criticism from Mon people who are participating in the revolution.
Some of the villages patrolled by MNLA forces include villages jointly controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), and fierce fighting broke out between the junta army and the combined force of the KNU in some Mon villages of Kawkayeik Township early this year.
Hundreds of Mon village residents were forced to escape their houses as a result of the fighting, and their homes were set on fire by artillery shelling.
The forces of the New Mon State Party may have discussions and negotiations to avoid confrontation with the revolutionary forces while conducting security patrols with the approval of the military council, said sources close to NMSP.
Than Lwin Times tried to reach Nai Banyar Lei, the internal affairs officer of the New Mon State Party, three times on the phone regarding security patrols of the MNLA, but no response was received.
Mon political analysts have criticized the NMSP’s move as a public relations strategy to save their political and military dignity as it is not involved in the Spring Revolution and pointed out that the NMSP, which held six peace talks with the military council, should not become a pawn of the military regime.
News-Than Lwin Times