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JOINT-STATEMENT ON THE 252nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALLEN DAY OF HONGSAWATOI MON KINGDOM
JOINT-STATEMENT ON THE 252nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALLEN DAY OF                   HONGSAWATOI MON KINGDOM  
May 16, 2009
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Statement

The 252nd anniversary of the destruction of Hongsawatoi Mon Kingdom falls on May 16, 2009 (The 8th waning day of Pa Sike, Mon Lunar Calendar). We, the Mon people from around the world, annually observe this day as the “Holocaust Memorial Day of the Mon People” in memory of tens of thousands of Mon who faced unimaginable horror and persecution by the Burman ruler, U Aung Zeya, at the falling of Hongsawatoi. Today, once again, we commemorate the falling day of Hongsawatoi in order to raise awareness of the ongoing silent genocide of the Mon and other ethnic nationalities in Burma.

In 1757, U Aung Zeya invaded and devastated the Mon Kingdom Hongsawatoi (Pegu) by killing tens of thousands of innocent Mon civilians. Over 3,000 Mon Buddhist monks were brutally massacred in the city of Pegu alone, while other countless numbers of monks, pregnant women, and children throughout the kingdom were massacred or burnt alive in ruthless holocausts. The destruction of the Mon by         U Aung Zeya and his army was similar to the destruction of Jews by the Nazis.

Although U Aung Zeya died over 200 years ago, his legacy of evilness and crimes against humanity are still strongly supported and enforced in modern day Burma. The current and past Burmese military regimes, following the evil spirit of U Aung Zeya, have used systematic ethnic cleansing tactics and committed various human rights abuses in their attempts to eliminate the Mon and other ethnic nationalities in Burma. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes and have become refugees in neighboring countries with many more have been internally displaced.

The political situations in Burma not only sh ow no signs of improvement, but rather appear to be going backwards. The current Burmese military regime (SPDC) has been refusing to hold a dialogue with ethnic nationalities and opposition parties for a peaceful political resolution. Instead, the regime went ahead with its sham National Convention and unilaterally drafted a constitution which attempt to legitimize the regime’s rule. Now the regime plans to hold a general election in 2010. Since the election will not be free and fair, most of the ethnic political parties will not participate in the election. Some of ethnic cease-fire groups have been preparing to resume fighting if the regime forces them to surrender or take control of their army without a political resolution. This would escalate new fighting between the regime and ethnic cease-fire armed groups in Burma. We believe that only political dialogue will prevent further bloodshed in Burma.

Therefore, in honor of the victims who were killed during the destruction of Hongsawtoi Mon Kingdom, we urge:

The SPDC to immediately initiate a genuine tripartite dialogue with ethnic nationalities and elected representatives,

  • The SPDC to immediately stop the practice of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and all forms of human rights violations against the Mon and all other ethnic nationalities,

  • International community not to lift economic sanctions on the SPDC unless human rights abuses end in Burma,

·     Mon people to be united behind Mon political parties and boycott the upcoming SPDC's election.
  
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The statement is issued jointly issued by:

1. Australia Mon Association (AMA)

2. Euro Mon Community

3. Mon Canadian Society

4. Monland Restoration Council (USA)

5. Mon Women's Association of America

6. Mon Women’s Organization of Canada

7. Mon Unity League (Thailand)

8. Mon Community of Mae Sot (Mae Sot, Thailand)

9. Mon Labor Network (Thailand)


Media Contacts:

Nai Siri Mon Chan (Australia) Tel: + 61 433-555-372

Nai Kun Yekha (USA) Tel:   260-515-9885 (cell)    


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