ROAD MAP FOR DEMOCRACY
(Gong Ong: October 13, 2003)
Activists and politicians met in Fort Wayne for a Burma's
Road Map Conference on October 11 and 12.
"It was very productive. We built more networks and
made decisions to change the military regime in Burma,"
said Nai Banyadean, one of the Conference organizers.
It had been busy days for Banyadean and members of Monland
Restoration Council since the Conference organizers selected
Fort Wayne as the host site. The small town is home to the
largest concentration of refugees from Burma in the United
States, who mostly fled the country after 1988 brutal military
Mon delegates from Thailand, Canada and other parts of the
USA traveled to Fort Wayne to join with two hundred participants
including Prime Minister of the government in exile Dr. Sein
Win and Karen National Union (KNU) leader Padoh Mahn Sha.
It was reported some Mons were not permitted visas for entering
the U.S for this meeting.
Various exiled groups based in Thailand, Canada, India, England,
Japan and other States from the U.S flocked to Fort Wayne,
the residence of 1,500 Burmese community, to join this significant
conference. Most delegates who work for a regime change in
Burma are dedicated leaders of ethnic and democratic organizations
such as NCUB (National Council of the Union of Burma), CRDB,
NCGUB, NLD, MUL and FBC.
According to Kevin Kilbane of The News Sentinel, Fred Gilbert,
a local social worker who devotes most of his time to assisting
refugees and immigrants said it was the broad-based conference
that had ever been held in the United States. Messages and
speeches from Representatives of Sen. Richard Lugar and the
U.S State Department's Burma desk were delivered.
The Mon team also drafted a Road Map paper to present at
the "Road Map for Democracy in Burma Conference,"
according to the source from the Mon Unity League. The Road
Map, jointly drafted by umbrella organizations Mon Unity League
and United Mon Fronts, implemented to begin a tripartite dialogue
in Burma stating that neither the military junta nor the opposition
democratic force can command the support necessary for a transition
to democracy in Burma without participation from the ethnic
Pon Nya Mon of MRC said, "We don't discuss our paper
seriously, it's only a proposal to contribute the conference
as an alternative while there are Road Maps proposed by other
parties". He told Kao Wao that while the Mon supports
the role of United Nations to bring peace, equality and democracy
on Burma, this road map urges Burmese junta to be obligated
accordingly in line with the UN.
The Mon Road Map has five steps; Transitional Period, Tripartite
dialogue process, Forming an interim government, Holding new
elections and Forming a newly elected government.
Meanwhile, Mon MP Nai Thaung Shein and former New Mon State
Party leaders in exile urged the Mon not to support the Road
Map proposed by the military regime in Burma.
At the two-day conference in Indiana's Purdue University,
participants spent most of their time developing ideas in
strategy planning, solidarity building among nationalities
and international campaign.
Participants and local community were joyfully entertained
by M3 (Mon Modern Music) Band and cultural performance in
the evening on October 12 after the meaningful gathering.