New Mon State Party (NMSP) received 28 letters of complaint, covering many areas, from the Mon State government, between January and September, according to NMSP’s Home Affair Department.
The letters from Mon State’s Security and Border Affairs Ministry included extortion, narcotic arrests, military recruitment training and justice related projects.
“Some of the letters included situations that are not possible to correct right now. However, other mentioned topics we can address,” said Nai Win Hla.Nai Win Hla said that the NMSP relied on the Mon people’s support, sometimes in the form of cash and rice, and that it is not technically extortion, and it’s on the NMSP’s agenda to prevent and fight against drug use and find solutions for any problems that are taking place in NMSP’s controlled area.
“After the ceasefire, the number of our NMSP soldiers has decreased. However, it’s just impossible to be present everywhere. The Tatmadaw already knows that and the government also knows that. Our public also knows that,” said Nai Win Hla.
Regarding the state government’s opposition letters, the NMSP team led by general secretary Nai Aung Min and the government team led by the Chief Minister held a meeting on September 30, at Mon State’s Government Office.
“At the meeting, each side presented their views. However, no agreement was reached. Another thing is that we weren’t here solely to oppose their [gov’t] agenda. We have requested them to negotiate with us first before releasing the complaint letters,” said Nai Win Hla.
Thus far, the NMSP and the Mon State government have only met twice since the new government took office. The first ever meeting between the NMSP’s team led by the party’s Vice-chairman Nai Hongsar and state government team led by Chief Minister U Min Min Oo was held on May 19.
The NMSP is a member of the United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC) and one of the ethnic armed groups that has not inked the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the Union government yet, although it has signed the state level and union level ceasefire agreements.