Although the locals protested with signs reading, “Sign the ceasefire agreement on Union Day; [it’s the] public’s wishes”, residents report that the protest did not align according with their own wishes.
About 500 people joined yesterday’s protest, led by administration officials from Quarter 5 of Kamarwet town, where protesters marched through Kamarwet [Town] from 7:00-8:30 AM.
“The protest was held, but not with the [local] people’s wishes. They [administration officials] called for the local people to join the protest. When we locals got there, they gave us the posters and signs that they had already made and told us to hold [them]. Then, they documented that event,” said Nai Ong Janeh, a retired school teacher from Kamarwet Town.
Nai Ong Janeh continued that only one-third of the people called to join in the protest were from Kamarwet Town, with the rest coming from other villages in Mudon Township.
During the march, protesters called for peace and the end of armed conflict with slogans such as: “[Let’s] sign a ceasefire agreement on Union Day”; “That’s the public’s wishes”; “We want peace”; “Cease firing now”; “People want to live in Peace”; “Stop fighting”.
Nai Banyar Chan, Chairman of the Mon National Party (MNP) Kamarwet Town office, stated that, “[The] MNP was not involved in this protest, nor was the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP); [the Mon] literature and culture association from Kamarwet Town also did not participate in the protest. The protest was only organized and led by local administrative officials.”
Viewing the protest as unacceptable, in response, the MNP hung posters across Kamarwet Town, reading; “Implement peace on Union Day [for Union Day remembrance] now”. The posters identified two points including the necessity of signing a ceasefire for lasting peace, with a total guarantee for a genuine federal union system for union ethnic groups, and to establish a union federal army, which is what union ethnic groups want.
This is the first such protest to take place in Kamarwet Town, Mudon Township, Mon State during the current government administration.