Sangkhlaburi, Thailand – The All Mon National Negotiating Team will hold a conference organized by senior Mon monks on July 8th at Sarsana 2500 Monastery in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State. Invitations to the conference have been extended to Mon people throughout Burma.

According to Ashin Kayma Nonda, Sayar Daw of Nonda Won Monastery in Thanbyuzayat Town, the goal of the conference will be to explain to the Mon people about the activities in which the negotiating team has been engaged over the past two years, including the team’s efforts to unite the two Mon political parties (the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP) and the Mon Democracy Party (MDP)).

“We, the monks, will explain the points we have found. There is something that both Mon parties do not obey, though both parties gave their word to the monks [to do so],” said Ashin Kayma Nonda.

Ashin Kayma Nonda said that the MDP and the AMDP agreed to form a single Mon National Party with 42 executive committee  members (21 from each party). However, the two parties still haven’t been fully unified.

Ashin Kayma Nonda notes that the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP) was the first party to sign an agreement which provided that December 2014 would be the deadline for the parties to merge, but then AMDP later reneged on the agreement.

“For the Mon National Party,” Ashin Kayma Nonda continued, there is an understanding that “senior leaders would take up chairmanship positions [in the combined party and promise to] fill 25% of its leadership posts with women and 25% with youths. But, in reality, this hasn’t happened yet.”

MNP Vice-Chairman Nai Tin Aung said that, “Everyone except individuals with health problems will be present at the conference; we will know what is important to discuss and sort it out tomorrow [July 8th].”

Nai Tin Aung said last Saturday that the All Mon National Negotiating Team—which also constitutes the two Mon political parties’ unification negotiating team—met with MNP members and senior monks at Auk-Bagu Monastery in Moulmein, and that the MNP would continue to accept the guidelines set forth by the senior monks.

“The All Mon National negotiating team will be disbanded if the [two] Mon parties don’t acknowledge what the senior monks have worked so hard for. The outcome will be known [on July 8th],” said Ashin Kayma Nonda.

The All Mon National Negotiating Team was founded in early 2012 in order to merge the two Mon political parties. Meetings between the two parties—facilitated by senior monks—have been held monthly since 2012.

AMDP was founded on April 7, 2010 and the party registered for the 2010 elections. 16 of the 34 AMDP representatives contesting the election won seats.

The Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF) registered for the 1990 elections, but didn’t register or participate in the 2010 elections. The party later changed its name from MNDF to the Mon Democracy Party (MDP) and then to Mon National Party, and was finally registered as an official party on July 10, 2012 after receiving approval from the Union Election Commission. Since then, there have been two active Mon political parties.