March 15, 2017
HURFOM: Mon National Schools are currently facing a funding crisis for teacher salaries, according to Nai Ongjanah from the Mon National Education Committee (MNEC). The former teacher made the remarks while being honoured at the Thanbyuzayat Township 35th Academic Recognition Ceremony organized by the MNEC fundraising committee.
March 15, 2017
On March 9, 2017, Mon women joined together in celebration of the 14th annual Mon Women’s Day held in Mawlamyine, Mon State.
The event was organized by five Mon groups, including the Mon Women’s Organization (MWO); the Saytanar Foundation; the Border Health Initiative; the Mon Youth Educator Organization; and the Women’s Empowerment Project. Read more
March 9, 2017
On March 2, 2017, approximately 5,000 people from Mon State participated in a protest against the naming of a bridge linking Mawlamyine and Chaungzone townships after General Aung San.
Demonstrators shouted: “We want national prestige! (We want it, we want it!); We want acknowledgement of the will of the indigenous people! (We want it, we want it!); Immediately stop defying the will of the people! (Stop right now, stop right now!); We want our [traditional] name! (Rehmonnya! Rehmonnya!).” Protesters held signs written in both Mon and Burmese as they marched to the bridge from Ma Hee village. Read more
March 1, 2017
HURFOM: On February 18, 2017, over 2,000 locals from Pyar Taung region demonstrated against the use of a coal-power plant to provide electricity for the local cement factory in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State. The cement factory, built by Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL), is located between Kaw Don and Kaw Panor villages in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State. MCL, a joint-venture between Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Pacific Link Cement Industries (PLCI), has been operating since September 2016. Read more
February 24, 2017
HURFOM: Mon State Minister, U Min Min Oo, has resigned following controversy surrounding the naming of the Than-Lwin Bridge between Chaungzone and Moulmein townships.
U Min Min Oo is also the Mon State Minister for Municipal Development and Construction. On February 8, 2017, local community members, including monks, began organizing protests against the naming of the newly constructed bridge after General Aung San. Read more
February 20, 2017
HURFOM: On January 29, 2017, a fisherman was found dead with stab wounds to the neck on Nhet Pyaw (Banana) Island in the Andaman Sea, west of Ye City.
It was reported that the fisherman, U Myint Oo, 54, who is from Irrawaddy Division, was stabbed in the neck at 1:30 am on January 29, with a sharp knife that was used to process fish by his worker Nay Soe Tun, 23, who is from Myeik City, Tenasserim Division. Read more
February 17, 2017
On February 10, 2017, a workshop on environmental, land, and human rights issues in relation to coal mining was held in Ka Don Si village, Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State. The workshop was organized by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) and local villagers. Read more
February 16, 2017
On February 14, 2017, the Burmese military invaded and took control of two New Mon State Party (NMSP) checkpoints, increasing tensions that have existed between the two over the last several years.
At the same time, the Burmese military have begun stopping and checking travelers on the Thanbyuzayat-Three Pagoda Pass Road, implementing travel restrictions as Burmese troops are now mobilizing near Three Pagoda Pass. Read more
February 15, 2017
HURFOM: On February 14, 2017, the Burma Army took control of two New Mon State Party (NMSP) checkpoints along the Thanbyuzayat-Three Pagoda Pass Road and there are growing tensions between the two parties, according to an official from the NMSP. Read more
February 8, 2017
On the morning of February 4, 2017, approximately 1,000 people participated in a demonstration for peace held in Mawlamyine, Mon State.
According to Nai Oung Mon, who is one of the organizers, “the purposes of this activity are to stop the conflict surrounding the ceasefire [talks] and to stop the violence in the country. The demonstration was organized through the cooperation of many people from various ethnicities including, Mon, Burmese, Pa’O, and Karen activists.”
He added that, “when people exchange [debate] about politics in our country, we would like them to listen to the voices of the citizens very carefully. Then, they will know what our struggles are and can solve our problems as citizens.”
U Saw Myo Myint Hlaing, a Karen ethnic who is working for a local Civil Society Organization (CSO) in Mon State said that, “there are a lot of domestic wars in the country. We don’t want it. To get peace all over the country, we want all the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and CSOs to participate in the peace process. Then we will see our country develop.”
“When we [try to] solve the problem of conflict surrounding the ceasefire [talks], we have many ways to go about doing it, such as choosing to kill people or choosing to discuss [the end of conflict] peacefully. Everybody should have the right to survive, respect for human rights, and they must have the right to [freely] express [themselves],” said Nai Dhow Ong Chan, also present at the demonstration.
Daw Hla Myint who works for a CSO in Chaung Zone Township stressed the inclusivity of the protest, saying, “there are a lot of wars in the country. We don’t discriminate based on race, or whether you are rich or poor; we only focus on bringing peace to the country and participating in activities such as this.”
Nai Soe Thein from Ye Township, who also participated in the activity said, “the expense of the [current] war is much more than the expense allocated to education. When the political [system] is changed we shouldn’t have war in the country. The ethnic groups are poorer and we wish to stop the war in the country and thus we organized this activity.”