Tuesday, August 15, 2006

NMSP not to give up arms unless ethnic rights are guaranteed

News - NMG

Tuesday, 08 August 2006

The New Mon State Party will not give up its arms unless a federal union and ethnic rights are guaranteed, said a committee member of the party on the 59th Anniversary of Mon Resistance Day today.“We’ll have to think hard on giving up arms. It is subject to ethnic rights being endorsed,” said Nai Ong Ma-nge, a Central Committee member of the NMSP. “In 1958, we exchanged arms for peace and we learnt a big lesson. It was a great loss for we were unarmed. There are a lot we need to negotiate about in order to achieve a genuine federal union.”

The party today released a statement urging ethnic ceasefire groups to reconsider the situation they are in, given their inability to resolve the political problems in Burma.

“We urge for a common goal for every [opposition] organization and political party and we should work together in harmony to achieve that goal, with cooperation from the people,” said Nai Ong Ma-nge.Meetings and negotiations [with the Burmese junta] can be carried out if Mon people and the allies work together on common plans, suggested the NMSP.

The party’s chairman Nai Htow Mon, in his statement to the Mon people on Resistance Day, said the party will work hard to solve the political problems through talks across the table.To restore Mon State and gain self-determination rights for Mon people the National Defence Organization (MNDO) took up arms on August 19, 1948.After MNDO, the NMSP continued the resistance and agreed to a ceasefire with the Burmese military junta in 1995.

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