“We have to work with the voice of the people,” Nai Aue Mon tells me in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, as we discuss the recent rise of land confiscation and land disputes in the Mon State. Aue Mon has been with the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) since 1999, when he started witnessing the abuse and violations of the rights of civilians in the Mon State. He first began working as a journalist for the Mon publication Guiding Star, before beginning his work as documenting and defending human rights. In this in-depth interview, Nai Aue Mon explains about the historical and current human rights situation in the Mon areas, as well as the ongoing and emerging struggles and challenges faced by the tens of thousands of IDPs (internally displaced persons) in his native Mon State. Nai Aue Mon has great hopes for the future of the country, particularly in the context of the new NLD government taking office. But amidst these hopes, however, on the ground situation indicates a turn from physical violations to increasing land conflicts driven “under the name of development.” Nai Aue Mon is now the Program Director of HURFOM, and hopes to realise their long term goal of bringing transitional justice and memorialization activities to the victims of this decades-long abuse.
Authors and Publishers
Burma Link is a non-profit non-governmental organisation that was founded by foreign specialists in the field of ethnic relations and international development together with refugees and migrants from Burma in August 2012 in Mae La refugee camp, Thailand. We set up Burma Link to centralise information on Burma’s conflict and displacement situation and to amplify the voices of local organisations working towards free and peaceful Burma.
The Online Burma/Myanmar Library (OBL) is a non-profit online research library mainly in English and Burmese serving academics, activists, diplomats, NGOs, CSOs, CBOs and other Burmese and international actors. It is also, of course, open to the general public.