According to New Mon State Party (NMSP) spokesperson Nai Chay Mon during an interview with IMNA reporter Loa Htaw, party leaders have gathered at their headquarters in southern Mon State for an emergency meeting.
NMSP leaders must decide whether they will accept the Burmese government’s demands that the party to transform the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) into a Burmese-government controlled militia group or Border Guard Force (BGF). According to Nai Chay Mon, the NMSP leaders met with Southeast Command Lt. Gen. Ye Myint on April 7, when he gave the party a deadline of April 22nd to confirm its decision.
Loa Htaw: Could you please tell the Mon people about the NMSP’s current situation?
Nai Chay Mon: Currently the New Mon State Party has been asked by Southeast Command Lt.Gen. Ye Myint to accept the transformation of the MNLA into a militia group. The NMSP leaders, led by Vice President Nai Rot Sa, Join Secretary Nai Chan Toi and CEC Nai Tala Nyi met with Lt. Gen Ye Myint on April 7th, and he asked the party’s leaders to confirm their decision by a deadline of April 22.
Loa Htaw: What is the emergency meeting about at the NMSP’s head-quarters?
Nai Chay Mon: The main agenda is to decide whether the NMSP should accept the government’s demands or not. Currently, all the Central Executive Committee party leaders are holding the meeting about this issue.
Loa Htaw: What will happen if NMSP decides not to form a militia group? Will the the relationship between the NMSP and the SPDC return to the way they were before the cease-fire agreement?
Nai Chay Mon: We cannot say anything yet about whether the political situation will become like it was before the cease-fire agreement or not. The NMSP and other ethnic groups signed cease-fire agreements to solve political problems, and both the Burmese government and the NMSP must take time to find a solution, step by step.
Loa Htaw: The NMSP has stated several times that it will not participate in the 2010 elections, or transform its armed wing into a militia group. Why does the Burmese government want confirmation of these decisions again?
Nai Chay Mon: Before, the government asked the NMSP to accept the Border-Guard Force agreement, but now they changed the word into militia group.
Loa Htaw: What is the difference between a Border-Guard Force and a militia group?
Nai Chay Mon: A Border-Guard Force means that the force will include SPDC soldiers, but a militia group may not involve the government’s soldiers, according to our experience.
Loa Htaw: How do plan to deal with other Mon parties, such as All Region Mon Democracy Party, who are planning to run in the 2010 elections?
Nai Chay Mon: We do not want to comment on other Mon parties, or if they want to form new Mon parties and run in the elections. We do not oppose or support them. But the 2010 election is based on the 2008 constitution, which we do not approve of.
Loa Htaw: Some have said that the Mon people and other ethnic groups should have their ethnic political parties join in the elections to represent their groups’ voices. What do you think?
Nai Chay Mon: We should not view the election at a surface level . We have to consider the 2008 constitution carefully, and how it will benefit the Mon people and all Burmese citizens. Otherwise, we will face the effects of the constitution, which does not give any ethnic rights to the Mon people or other ethnic people.
Loa Htaw: What do you want to tell the Mon people, regarding both the upcoming elections, and the pressure from the government to accept an agreement to transform the MNLA into a militia group?
Nai Chay Mon: We want to tell the Mon people that MNLA still exists, and we want the Mon people to support the MNLA and NMSP, whatever the decisions the party makes.