Min Thu Ta – Sixteen members of 88 Generation Students Group kicked off their tour of Mon State on November 9 with an ambitious first-day travel schedule that included Belin, Kyaikhto, Thaton, Paung Town, and Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.
So far, the group has met with local residents to discuss Burma’s steps toward becoming a peaceful, transparent, and democratic society, along with the role community organizations can play by working alongside political parties.
On November 11, the 88 Generation Students Group held a public meeting at the Mon Community Hall in Thanbyuzayat Town for civil society members and local representatives of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), Mon Democracy Party (MDP), National League for Democracy (NLD), and the Mon Literature and Culture Association. Speeches were given by U Nyan Hein of the Thanbyuzayat NLD and prominent 88 Generation Students Group leaders Min Ko Naing and Min Zay Ya. According to Nai Chan Aye, head of preservation at the Mon Community Hall, there were about 500 attendees.
“They mainly discussed how civil society participation is very important during this period of democratic transition. Also, [they said] they understand that although human rights concerns have been transparent under the current administration, people are still suffering from the remaining legacy of unfortunate acts committed by the previous government.”
Nai Chan Aye added, “At the meeting, three local people submitted two cases to the 88 Generation Students, one about plantations confiscated by authorities, which is taking place at the moment, and the other about grazing lands sold by village heads for housing plots.”
On November 10, the 88 Generation Students Group also visited Mudon Township to meet youth and democracy activists and around 400 local residents in the Community Hall at the Aung Dharma Peaceful Retreat on Bogyoke Street. The the Mon news journal Than Lwin Times reported online that earlier that same day, the Group met with local people and Buddhist monks at the Zay-Tha-Won monastery in Kyaik Maraw Town. They also toured Kyaik Ka-mi Town and Ye Town in lower Mon State.