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NMSP remains neutral in face of nearby fighting in TPP

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Mon Kyae and Pakao Moore :  Two days ago fighting arose in Three Pagoda Pass (TPP) between Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC or Burmese government).

TPP is a border crossing between Thailand and Burma in Sangklaburi, Kanchanaburi Province. On the Burmese side, the TPP area is situated in Karen State, and south of TPP is Mon State.  The villages just south of Three Pagoda Pass in Mon state are controlled by the New Mon State Party (NMSP). Once the conflict began two days ago, on the 8th of November, refugees have been pouring into Three Pagoda Pass and further south into Mon villages.

A report by the US Campaign for Burma that the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has become involved in the fighting between the DKBA and the SPDC at Three Pagoda Pass is untrue. IMNA spoke to a major within the NMSP, and he said, “Our party is not involved in the fighting. The fighting is between the DKBA and the Burmese government troops.” This statement was reconfirmed by an IMNA reported who explained, “there’s been no involvement by the NMSP in the conflict at Three Pagoda Pass.”

The NMSP has allowed shelter for refugees who have fled from Burma and into Mon State villages, such as Japanese Well village and Gubowl village.

During the week before the November 7th election, the New Mon State Party participated in meetings with other ethnic groups to form a Federal Military Alliance, in which they would join forces if, after the elections, the SPDC began attacking those ethnic groups that either boycotted the elections or were banned from participating in them. The current conflict at TPP was instigated by the DKBA, not the Burmese government, and not a member of the Federal Alliance made last week, and so the NMSP has not become involved.

The two armies that joined the DKBA in their fight are the Karen National Union and the Karen Peace Front.

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