Disagreement over Representation Preventing NMSP from Joining Mon State Ceasefire Monitoring Committee

April 21, 2018

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) have yet to join the Mon State Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMCS) due to a disagreement over NMSP representation in the Karen State and Tenasserim Division monitoring committees, according to an April 9th statement by NMSP Chairman Nai Htaw Mon.

The NMSP signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to solve political problems in our country. Regarding the Union Level Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMCU), we’ve already appointed our representative. But we haven’t taken any post in the [Mon State] JMC–S, as the government has not allowed us to join the state committees in both Karen State and Tenasserim Division. [We should be able to join], because we still have military bases in Karen and Tenasserim regions,” said Nai Htaw Mon.

On February 13th 2018, the NMSP signed the NCA, after which they planned to join the Mon State JMC–S in order to organize national-level political dialogues and to participate in the union-level monitoring committee.

Currently, the Mon State JMC-S is comprised of 14 members: five from the Karen National Union (KNU), five representing the military, government, and parliament; and 4 civilians. According to officials from the NMSP, since the KNU has representatives in the Mon State JMCS, the NMSP should also have representatives in the state-level monitoring committees in both Karen State and Tenasserim Division.

We haven’t had a clear message on who can be involved in JMC–S meetings. So the NMSP has challenges in participating in JMC-S meetings [in regions where they have military bases],” said Nai Ong Ma Ngay, a central member of the Committee for Organizing Mon Political Dialogue.

The refusal to let the NMSP join state-level monitoring committees in Karen and Tenasserim regions has only added to worries about the peace process.

We’ve been worried that there will be difficulties after signing [the NCA]. In order to avoid difficulties, we’ve already talked with union-level leaders. After singing [the NCA], what we are seeing is that our public consultation meetings have been blocked and there are problems with our involvement in JMC-S meetings,” said Nai Htaw Mon.

Last month it was reported that Burma Army Southeast Military Command had ordered the NMSP to limit the number of participants in forums planned to discuss the recently signed NCA with Mon citizens.

 

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