Political view: a youth's perspective
CONFISCATED LAND CANNOT CHANGE THE SOUL OF A NATION
(By Lawi Weng)
Recently a friend of mine sent me a report titled "No
Land to Farm" from the Human Rights Foundation of Monland.
When I read the report it made me very sad to see photos of
the Mon farmers without a place to live, no food, no home
or community, their land and life confiscated by the Burmese
The Mon farmers cannot live without their farms, their lives
are in total harmony with the land, it's a labour of love;
they love to see the huts and the paddy on the farms and to
see the rubber plants growing day by day. They believe their
farms to be the center of the universe, like heaven, because
they get income from their farms every day. They rely on their
farms to feed their family and contribute to the surrounding
community. Why does the military regime confiscate their land
without paying them any compensation or give them justification
for doing so? I am confused about the military regime's motives.
Why is the military regime confiscating the land of the Mon
The military regime has arrested Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and
put her under house arrest many times in order to hide her
from the outside world and the political arena. They arrest
thousands of political prisoners and shut them up in prison
because they fear those who will undermine their power. They
kill torture and intimidate the people who are pro-democratic
as an example to all to shut up.
But our Mon people are not members of NLD (National League
for Democracy) and don't resist the military regime either.
So, why does the military confiscate their land and treat
them so badly? I believe the political prisoners' lives are
better off than the Mon peoples' lives because they have a
place to live and food to eat.
I wept when I read the land confiscation news, because I
know their suffering. Despite the fact that they are human
beings, their right to own property has been stolen from them.
I pity them a lot. I think their passion and feelings are
very strong to avenge the military regime, maybe even consider
producing suicide bombs to sacrifice their lives to protect
the Mon people against the military regime.
Israel and Palestine's conflicts are very complex in the
Middle East. It is the main challenge to peace and security;
others feel more immediately menaced by suicide bombings.
The problems therefore remain and no one it seems can solve
The lives of the Palestinian people are growing desperate
daily, they have no place to live, no place to farm, and no
place to struggle for their revolution. They may believe that
instead of getting back their lands, which seems impossible,
using suicide bombs is the best way to solve the conflicts.
Thus, the conflicts in the Middle East will get bigger by
the day. It is passion that ignites and unifies them.
How about our Mon Farmers? At the moment, they can't react
with any kind of violence because they are living under the
strict control of the military. Even though we are passionate
about our land and freedom, I hope it never comes to suicide
attacks, another tactic of the military to force people into
Recently, John Miller, the brother of James Miller a cameraman
shot by the Israeli army said: "Sincerity isn't a word
I would use in conjunction with the Israeli military; I have
absolutely no confidence in what they tell me. I think the
Israelis operate a war of attrition that just grinds you down
in the hope you'll give up."
The regime is using the same tactics in order to tire Aung
San Suu Kyi from the political table. However, she still has
great energy and is in good spirits.
Furthermore, the regime is using the method of confiscating
the land from the Mon farmers in order to create problems
between the Mon people and New Mon State Party.
After the NMSP signed a ceasefire agreement with the regime,
many of the Mon peoples' land was confiscated. Before the
ceasefire, land was confiscated as much as today. The regime
obviously used the ceasefire agreement to their advantage
and uses any opportunity to stir up conflicts between the
Mon people and NMSP. This was also the policy of Hitler. He
made the Jews in Germany scapegoats. He created propaganda
to gain support from the German people and forced the German
soldiers to "cleanse" all Jews from Germany.
The regime is trying to force the Mon people to make a scapegoat
of the NMSP. If the Mon people and NMSP fight with each other,
the NMSP will be forced to step down from the political arena.
The NMSP is very sad to hear that the Mons are losing their
land, some of the Mon farmers urge the NMSP to demand their
land back from the military regime, but the NMSP is powerless.
Unity and stability between China and Tibet should not come
by gun and force. It should come by compassion, the Dalai
Lama said. If the Burmese military would like to have unity
and stability in Burma, they should not tackle problems by
confiscating lands and oppressing the ethnic people.
Confiscating lands and repressing the Mon people cannot change
the soul of a nation. As Czech Republic Vaclav Havel says,
"It may dampen it and disguise the reality outwardly,
but history has repeatedly taught us that change often arrives
We can see change in East Timor. After Suharto's regime killed
thousands and relocated Timorese people, he was finally forced
to hand over power to the President in East Timor. I think
of the situation in this __expression "The mad dog can
run the whole village the first time. Later, someone will
If the military regime fuels clash between the Mon people
and the NMSP, the Mon people will have to work for unity and
strength. They have lost some opportunities, but they have
gained some, too, as they say, 'No Pay, No Gain. The NMSP
has a chance to work with their people in politics, they can
promote education in the Mon state and in the rural areas,
their political ideas have reached the politicians and the
patriotic monks who live inside Monland and overseas. So confiscating
lands and repressing the Mon people cannot change the soul
of a nation. The Mon Spirit is very much alive in the form
of the diasporas in many countries, such as Canada, the USA,
Finland, Germany, Japan, Australia, and Thailand.