Mon Media Project
- To break the military regime’s restriction on freedom of expression and assist information sharing on news and events daily happened in Mon areas and the other parts of Burma to Mon community
- To introduce the grassroots Mon people about the domestic and international struggle for democratization of Burma and restoration of national reconciliation.
- To encourage Mon people to have their voice by informing their situation in an independent newspaper like the practices in many democratic countries around the world.
Assessment for Project Implementation:
Under the military rule of Burma, the military regime SPDC has targeted in restricting the rights of freedom of expression, association, assembly, and prohibition against the people to have access to true information and events that happened in many parts of Burma.
The oppression against political activities, freedom of expression, and access to true information has remained the same in Mon areas like many parts of Burma. Arrests against political activists and supporters, restriction against the freedom of expression, such as printing books and reading materials, and restriction against the people to not have access to true information from independent newspapers and foreign radios have been committed by the regime’s military intelligence.
Politically, one main Mon political party, Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), was banned by SLORC in March 1992, and so the political expression of the Mon people has been silent. Some party leaders were imprisoned and were released after the NMSP-SLORC ceasefire. Then some of them were re-arrested again in 1998 for their political views supporting the formation of Committee for Representing People Parliament (CRPP).
It is not only the politicians and community leaders who led defiance against the government policies and actions, but also youths and students in the community, who need to share information through an independent Mon newspaper, to get access to reading materials and to have access to freedom of expression of their opinions for the democratization of Burma. This is the way, for the community to break the restriction on freedom of expression and access to information that will aid their non-violence struggle for democracy and self-determination.
HURFOM has printed a Mon Newspaper since 1999 with a name of Guiding Star/ North Pole Star (literally – Sanong-taing in Mon language) by accompanying with Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA). In August and September 2007, when there was a Saffron Revolution in Burma, the Mon Newspapers were full with news and photos of the students and Buddhist monks’ peaceful protests and then with bloody crackdown by SPDC’s riot police and soldiers.
In December 2007, HURFOM can also celebrate 100th Issue of Mon Newspaper which covered many special articles promoting Mon media. Currently, Guiding Star is remained only print media in the Mon community.
- Printing Monthly Newspapers and 12 issues per year
- The target group of Newspaper are: (1) Mon activists such as Buddhist monks, university students, youths and community leaders who lead the activities for Mon national struggles, (2) Mon students in Mon national schools, (3) Mon students in dry season Mon literacy training, (4) general Mon civilians and government servants in Mon State, and (5) NMSP members and its supporters, (6) refugees along the border, and (7) Mon migrant workers in Thailand.