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Statement of 62nd Anniversary of Mon National Day
By: Overseas Mon Organizations
February 10, 2009

We the Mon people from around the world will join together once again to observe the 62nd Anniversary of Mon National Day in celebration of our national heritage and identity.  On this historic day, in tribute to our great ancestors, we issue this statement in reaffirming our commitment to liberty and freedom for our people.

Mon sovereignty had existed in Southeast Asia since the early first millennium AD with the establishment of Suvannabhumi (Old Thaton) Mon kingdom. Most of our history enjoyed times of peace, but we also overcame war in difficult times just as we are doing today. The last Mon kingdom, Hongsawatoi (Pegu) was invaded and occupied by Burman King Alaungpaya in 1757. With the fall of Hongsawatoi, 252 years ago, we lost our sovereign kingdom and our right to govern ourselves.  Since that time we have been determined to regain our rights to govern our people in our motherland. While this is difficult to achieve, we will endeavor to regain our right to govern our own people. We have endured occupation of our motherland by successive military rule, including the present Burmese military regime. 

Since we lost our rights to self-determination, our religious freedom, our right to live within our culture that includes writing in our own language, our economic, social, and political lives have become degraded.  This lack of autonomy has caused Mon people to suffer from various forms of persecution and discrimination in our Monland.  Below is a list of some of these undeniable rights to our freedom:

1.  Countless number of Mon people fled from their homeland since the destruction of Hongsawatoi Kingdom in 1757 to avoid systematic persecution of successive Burman rulers.

2.  Mon people have faced various types of racial discrimination by Burmese rulers who view the Mon as a symbol of the historical enemy.

3.  We are consistently denied the right to freely learn our own Mon language and develop our literature.

4.  The Burmese army confiscates thousands acres of land and plantations that have belonged to Mon people while destroying our livelihood that depended upon the land.

5.  Mon people have suffered from various forms of social and moral oppression under the regime’s “Systematic Assimilation Policies” that appear to eradicate our culture and consequently our Mon people.

At present, the Mon national movement has been at the forefront of our struggle led by Mon political parties such as the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP). As well, our community has been active in promoting Mon civil societies and organizations in order to resist the regimes’ attempt to assimilate and abuse us. Their activities have kept our national movement alive. We are proud of their good work.

The current Burmese military regime, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), plans to hold an election in 2010, in order to legitimize itself through its illegitimate constitution.  We believe that the election WILL NOT BE FREE AND FAIR for all the democratic opposition and ethnic political parties in Burma. Therefore, the Mon both inside and outside Burma must consider the circumstances carefully before we adopt any political strategies in this political crisis. We must be vigilant against military rule so that we can free ourselves from enslavement.

On this 62nd Anniversary of the Mon National Day, we reaffirm our commitment to restore our motherland. At the same time, we share the following words of encouragement to all Mon people who live around the world:

1.  Because of no political power and the degrading situation we face in our motherland, we should form a Mon organization wherever we live in order to help each other.

2.  We must bare our share of responsibility to protect and liberate Mon people.

3.  We must continue to build up our national solidarity and carefully strategize every movement for the Mon national liberation.

The statement is 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. Mae Sot Mon Community (Mae Sot, Thailand)
8. Mon Unity League (Thailand)
9. Association of Finn-Mon Community
10. Mon Refugees Organization, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
11. Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO)

Media Contacts:
Nai Kwae Mon (Australia) Tel:  + 612 62577374 (home)
                        + 614 33 433 580 (cell)
                        + 614 33 948 303 (cell)
Nai Kasuah Mon (Thailand) Tel: + (66) 081-365-9140

Nai Kun Yekha (USA) Tel:   +1 260-515-9885 (cell)


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