Leaders of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) met with the chief minister and officials of the Mon State Government on Thursday, May 19, at state government office in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.
The meeting was focused on introducing the new delegates, among other topics. One issue, brought up by the NMSP at the meeting was in regards to the 21 Century Panglong Conference.
“It was just for us to meet them and introduce ourselves since we had never met the new government. One thing that we asked them about was concerning the 21 Century Panglong Conference that the NLD planned. We asked them how the conference would be held and what the objectives for the conference were. However, the chief minister could not give us any answers as he said he hadn’t met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yet,” said NMSP Vice-chairman NaiHongsar.
NaiHongsar added that the NMSP are in agreement if the 21 Panglong Conference is held with the objective of establishing federal union in the country. Regarding the matters of the ethnic groups, equality and the right for ethnic groups to create their own fate are at the centre. It is important that the ethnic groups’ language, literature and culture is able to be developed.
At the meeting, 7 representatives from NMSP including NMSP’s vice-chairman NaiHongsar and Commander in Chief. Brig. Gen. LayihGakao of NMSP’s armed wing, the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) were present. The representatives present from the state government side were the chief minister U Min MinOo, Security and Border Affair Minister Colonel Win NaingOo, Natural resource and environment reservation minister Dr. Min Kyi Win, state government secretary U Zaw Linn Tun and Bamar, Karen and Pa O ethnic ministers.
“It was mainly for the chance to introduce each other. One question they asked was concerning their ease of travel. Some matters are not concerned with us. Those matters need to be discussed with the union government. Although I am state chief minister, I am only a part of the state’s responsibility,” said Chief Minister U Min MinOo.
Recently, the state counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stated that 21 Century Panglong Conference would be held within the next two months and the NLD-led government would work towards having the ethnic armed groups, including those yet to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA), involved in the conference.
Although the NMSP signed a state level and union level ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein Government, it is yet to sign the NCA.