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The Statement on the 7th Anniversary of Mon Women Day

(4 March 2012)

On the 12 waxing day of Por Ra Kein in Mon lunar month (4 March 2012), a remembrance day for Her Majesty Banyeh Htao (Mon Queen Mi Jao Bu) is held by Mon women around the world. Mon women and Mon people respect and honour Mon Queen Mi Jao for her courage, intelligence, skills and knowledge. Therefore, on the occasion of Mon Women Day, we pay a respect and honour to Her Majesty the Queen, Mi Jao Bu and all other Mon women who have sacrificed and who are still sacrificing for Mon national cause. Despite the rapid changes in political environment in the world, there is not much indication of change in political environment in Burma. Even though the trend of change, whether it is positive or negative is still debatable, it is nevertheless evident that the changes give opportunity only to those who seek business benefits, and the major issues and problems in the country such as the ongoing armed conflicts in the ethnic nationalities areas and women issues are still neglected. We see that the actions taken by Thein Seins government in the meantime such as the release of some of the political prisoners, comparatively a bit relaxation on mass media, and the ceasefire talks with the ethnic armed groups are merely window dressings aimed at showing a positive image to international community and deceiving the people inside the country. In fact, violations of human rights, the use of rape as a weapon and major offensives in the ethnic nationalities areas are ongoing without any interruption. In brief, in current political development, despite the forming of a new government the roles of women in most areas such as the development, social welfare and education are still very limited. Furthermore, there are only a small number of womens representatives in politics and parliaments. Therefore, even if some see the change taken place meanwhile as optimistic, it is still pessimistic in terms of our women issues. For instance, in over a year of the coming to power of Thein Seins government, the rapes, forced relocations, confiscations of lands have still been happening on a daily basis, let alone the cessation of the violation of human rights. Changes taken place today may be beneficial to a small number of people in Burma. They are nevertheless hardly beneficial to a majority of people in ethnic nationalities areas. Therefore, for the security of our women, the living condition of the people, and peace in the country we would like to urge U Thein Seins government, other national parties and all ethnic nationalities parties to honestly work in action, not in word, toward a long-lasting peace in the country.

The Statement is jointly issued by: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Mon Women Network Mon Women Organization (Central) Mon Relief and Development Committee (Women Branch) Women and Child Right Project Border Health Initiative Mon Youth Progressive Organization (Women Branch)

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