Friday, April 24, 2009

Senior monk urges Mon political groups to join 2010 election

Mon Son, IMNA

A senior monk has expressed a desire for Mon political parties to participate in the elections to be held in Burma in 2010 so that the Mon community will have some representation in any future parliament.

Abbot Ain Da Ka, from Kamarwet village, made the remarks during a speech on April 11th at the closing ceremony of a Mon summer school in Young Dong village, Mudon Township. The summer school programmed is run by the Mon National Literature and Cultural Committee (MNLCC) of which the abbot is chairman for Mon State.

He said, "if Mon political groups participate in the 2010 election, we will get a chance to lobby in parliament for the MMLCC and for Mon people."

The two largest Mon political parties are the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF). Both have decided not to participate in the forthcoming election until the ruling military regime addresses the constitution which was ratified last year in what most objective observers agree was an undemocratic referendum of the population.

Representatives of both parties attended the school closing ceremony: Nai Htaw Mon, NMSP chairman and Nai Hong Done, vice-spokesperson of the MNDF and vice-chairman of the MNLCC. In the audience to hear the abbot's remarks there were several monks, members of the MNLCC, summer school students and their parents.

Nai Hong Done responded to Abbot Ain Da Ka's comments during his own speech at the ceremony. He later summarized his response to IMNA.

"The constitution does not include rights for Mon Literature and Culture. Even if we participated we couldn't fight for them in any parliament. I explained this to the monks and the people attending the ceremony."

According to Nai Hong Done, although some Mon parties and individual are preparing to take part in the election, MNDF will not be involved and will not change their stand.

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