The BurmaNet News: Monday, January 23, 1995
[Translated by FBIS] (Interview with Naing Shwe Kyin, chairman of the New Mon State Party, by unidentified Democratic Voice of Burma correspondent; place and date not given--recorded)
[Corresp]: Mr. Chairman, It has been learned that a meeting between the New Mon State Party (NMSP) adn the SLORC has come to an impasse. If it is true, why.
[Kyin]: It is true that the cease-fire negotiations have become uncertain. We held the meeting witht he SLORC with the intention of achieving a cease-fire, and with both parties maintaining their positions. We will try to achieve and transform the regional cease-fire into a national one. We have particpated in various organizations, that is why [the SLORC should also meet with the National Democratic Front; the DAB, the Democratic Alliance of Burma; and the NCBU, the National Council of the Union of Burma. However, it does not watn to hold talks with these organizations. It only wants to talk with individual groups. SLORC officials have proposed that all of our members stay witin a five-mile perimeter. Moreover, they told us that we have to inform them whenever we leave the area and that we will have no right to leave the area with our weapons. It seems taht the SLORC wants us to continue talks after they put us in a restricted area. Their attitude is wrong. So we have decided not to continue with the talks.
[Corresp]: It has been learned that the NMSP held a meeting due to pressure from many quarters. Is that the only reason? We would like to know if there are others.
[Kyin]: Pressure was not the only thing. We responded to the SLORC's official overture because we need internal peace. The other reasons included the urging of the Thai National Security Council, and officers of the No. 9 Thai Local Regional Command; and the recent incident at the Halockkhani Mon refugee camp [where Mon refugees were forcibly repatriated to Burma by Thai officials]. We went because there was an opportunity to hold a meeting with the SLORC based on a real need for internal peace. The other reason we had was that we do not want the people to usee us as a weapons-wielding bloodthirsty group, which engages itself in illegal activities and does not want internal peace. We are always willing to hold talks if there is an opportunity for internal peace.
[Corresp]: What are the differences between the NMSP and SLORC's basic stands?
[Kyin]: Our NMSP's basic stand is to hold a meeting as a front, which includes the NSF, the DAB, and the NCUB. We want the SLORC to meet these front-like organisations for wide-ranging discussions. But the SLORC only wants to talk to individual groups. This means the division of democratic forces and ethnic natinal forces. We believe that effective internal peace cannot be built by holding talks with individual groups. The other thing we want is a round-table meeting between the SLORC and all the above-mentioned groups to discuss and coordinate politcal problems. It seems that the SLORC is only interested in purely military matters. A cease-fire is a purely military matter. The SLORC urged us to participate in the National Convention where political discussions are held as observers. It seems we have to give up our belief in armed struggle to attend the National Convention. We cannot accept this condition.
[Corresp]: My last question for Mr. Chairman is what shoudl the stands be, so that a meeting can be held to end more than 40 years of civil war?
[Kyin]: To end this civil war of more than 40 years, a situation has to be created that will allow both sides to eliminate the grudges, anger, and doubts against one another. Only then will it become easier to continue the talks. If talks are held while they still have grudges, then an effective peace can never be achieved. I think if the talks are held in the presence of a person or an organization trusted by the majority of the people-- that means an organization like the United Nations--then we can smoothly resolve the civil war that we are facing.
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