The New Mon State Party (NMSP) announced that the party has decided against transforming its armed wing into a Burmese government-run militia, during a press conference held yesterday on the Thai-Burma border. The decision was made by party leaders on April 21st, at an emergency meeting held in southern Mon State.
The meeting was held in response to an April 7th convention with Southeast Command (SEC) Lt. General Ye Myint, where the General threatened that the NMSP’s refusal to acquiesce to the Burmese government’s demands, that the party transform its armed wing, the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) into a government-controlled “militia group”, would result in the re-establishment of a “pre-ceasefire relationship” between the Burmese military government and the party.
The NMSP reached a ceasefire agreement with the current military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), in 1995, in order to curb the massive human rights abuses Mon State citizens then suffered at the hands of the SPDC, and to open up political discourse between the 2 groups.
“We have already sent our Executive Committee (EC) members, including Nai Tin Hla, to confirm [our decision] with Southeast Command (SEC) Lt. Gen. Ye Myint, that we will not transform the MNLA into a government militia group,” NMSP spoke-person Nai Chay Mon explained. “Now we are still waiting to hear the government’s response from our representatives,” he added.
Twenty-seven EC members, including nine Central Executive Committee (CEC) members, along with five associated EC members, decided not to accept transforming the MNLA into a Burmese government-run militia, or Border-Guard Force (BGF) during the meeting, Nai Chay Mon explained
A source close to the party claimed that a few EC members, along with CEC member Nai Chan Toi, have decided to resign from the NMSP, although they allegedly are not making this move due to any opposition to the party’s decision to refuse the Burmese government’s militia group offer. However, the NMSP’s spoke-person refused to confirm this information.
He reported that many NMSP members have already moved from their homes in Mon State to other, more “reliable” locations, in anticipation of a violent reaction from the Burmese government. regarding the party’s decision.
“We will try our best to maintain the ceasefire, but if the government forces us to accept their demands, or if the government attacks, we will have to defend ourselves,” Nai Chay Mon explained to IMNA after yesterdays’ press conference.