Mon Women’s Day Joint Statement
12th Waxing Day of the 12th Month, 1370 Mon Lunar Year (March 7, 2009)
Mon women’s day is celebrated every year on the birthday of a famous Mon Queen Banya Thou, also know as Mi Jao Bu, in order for empowering Mon women to actively participate and take leadership roles in social, economic, and political processes. Queen Mi Jao Bu was born on the12th Waxing day of the 12th month, 755 Mon Lunar Year (March 23, 1394). Her Majesty Queen Mi Jao Bu was the only ruling queen in the history of Burma and was famous for her truthfulness and effective governance. Under her rule, the Hongsawatoi Mon kingdom was in peace and prosperity.
On this special occasion, we would like to take the opportunity to express our grave concern with regard to the situations of women and children in Burma, particularly in the areas of ethnic nationalities. The Burmese military regime continues the use of sexual violence against ethnic women and girls as a weapon of war against ethnic nationalities; thus the raping, torturing and murdering of ethnic women and girls is still widespread. In addition, ethnic women and girls have been cruelly targeted in the regime’s systematic ethnic cleansing policies and Burmanizing tactics. Similar to prior Burmese governments, the current regime has applied “mixing blood and fusing culture” tactics to assimilate ethnic nationalities. In doing so, the regime’s army encourages its troops to manipulate ethnic women and girls into marriages which often results in forced marriages.
Moreover, several thousands of ethnic women and children have become internally displaced persons and refugees as a result of human rights violations, illegal land confiscations, and the economic oppression committed by the Burmese army. Because of the deterioration of political, economic and social situations in their homeland many women and girls have fallen victim to human trafficking. We believe that such a humanitarian crisis can only be resolved by promoting the good governance, rule of law, democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedom for the ethnic nationalities. Therefore,
We call for the Burmese military regime to:
* Immediately stop sexual violence against ethnic women and girls
* Immediately end all measures of ethnic cleansing in the Mon State and other ethnic areas
* Fully comply with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
* Initiate a genuine tripartite dialogue for democratic reform and national reconciliation in Burma.
On this special day, we also urge all Mon women who live around the world to be united. No matter where we are and what organization we are affiliated with, we must bare our share of responsibility to protect and liberate Mon people and continue to work together for peace and justice for all.
The statement is jointly issued by:
Mon Women Organization (Thai-Burma Border)
Mon Women Organization (Canada)
Mon Women Organization (Sangkhlaburi)
Mon Women’s Association of America
Mon Youth Progressive Organization
Woman and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma)
Mi Win Ah Bloa (Thailand: 66 871 691882)
Mi Yin (Canada: 403 273 2086)
Mi Jarai Mon (US: 702 895 7786)