The Mon in Myanmar - 2018 and Beyond

On Monday 22nd January 2018, a special one-day conference in Canberra, Australia will take stock of the socio-political shifts, cultural dynamism and aspirations of Mon people in Myanmar/Burma and in diaspora communities across the globe.

After decades of intractable ethno-national conflict, military rule and economic stagnation, in the last five years Myanmar has seen a transition to partial civilian rule coupled with economic and political liberalisation. Since these changes and the signing of a preliminary ceasefire agreement between the New Mon State Party and the Myanmar government in 2012, the lives of many Mon people have changed markedly. Yet despite promising developments in some parts of Mon State the future of the Mon in Burma/Myanmar and around the globe remains less than clear.

It is in this context that a one-day conference titled ‘The Mon in Myanmar - 2018 and beyond’ will be held at the Myanmar Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra. Following on from the Karen in 2017 conference co-convened with University of Oxford, the conference will form the first day of the 2018 Mon Democracy and Peace Forum organised by the Australian Mon Association.

Papers from a range of disciplines and perspectives are sought for the conference which explore these profound social, political and economic changes and the implications for the future of the Mon social and political world. The major topics for discussion will be: Mon politics, ethno-national conflict and the peace process, history, economic issues, Mon identity and culture, migration and the Mon diaspora, education, and media. We are also interested in papers which explore the role of Mon civil society and Mon political parties.

Conference Program

8:15-8:45am: Registration/Tea & Coffee

8:45-9:00am: Conference Opening

Welcome 1: Nicholas Farrelly, Director, Myanmar Research Centre

Welcome 2: Siri Mon Chan, President, Australian Mon Association

9:00-10:30: Keynote presentations

Keynote 1: Nai Hong Sa, Vice-Chairman of New Mon State Party and Chairman ofUnited Nationalities Federal Council

Keynote 2: Nai Maung Thaung, Elder and Founder of the Canberra Mon Community

Keynote 3: Ashley South, Chiang Mai University

10:30-11:00: Morning Tea

11:00-12:30: Panel 1: Trust and National Reconciliation

Unresolved Human Rights Issues since the Transition to Democracy, Nai Kasuah Mon, Executive Director, Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) / Editor-in Chief, Mon News Agency (MNA)

The Civil Society Movement in Mon Society: Improving Women’s Participation in a Post-Conflict Setting, Mi Kun Chan Non, Vice Chairman, Mon Women’s Organisation (MWO)

The Power of Symbolic Measures, Cecile Medail, Doctoral Candidate, UNSW/ADFA

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30-3:00: Panel 2: Electoral Reforms & Political Parties

The Role of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in Mon National Politics, Saw Chit Thet Tun, Independent Karen consultant, Ethnic Peace Resources Project(EPRP)

Innovations and Changes in Mon Organisations and Political Parties, Siri Mon Chan, President of the Australian Mon Association (AMA)

Young Women’s Participation and Representation in Political Parties in Mon State, Myanmar, Mi Sar Yar Poine, Mon Women’s Organization (MWO)

3:00-3:30: Afternoon Tea

3:30-5:00: Panel 3: Every Day Life and Politics

Enhancing Municipal Governance in the Future Democratic Federal State of Myanmar: A Case Study of Thanbyuzayart Township, Mon State, Tun Myint Kyaw (Minn Latt), Mayor, Thanbyuzayat, Mon State

Everyday Justice Provision in Southern Mon State, Mi Thang Sorn Poine, Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMReF) and HeleneMaria Kyed, Danish Institute of International Study (DIIS)

International Labour Migration and its Consequences: A case study from Mon State, Myanmar, Min Zar Ni Lin, Khadija H. Nasirova and Nan Kyi Hust, Center for Economic and SocialDevelopment Myanmar (CESD)

Convenors of the conference are Khin Maung Yin (UNSW), Justine Chambers (ANU) and Gerard McCarthy (ANU).

Register now

Event details



Keynote - Dr Ashley South, Chiang Mai University

Date & time

Start date: Monday 22 January 2018

End date: Monday 22 January 2018



CIW Auditorium, Building 188, Fellows Lane, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 2601


Justine Chambers

Updated:  7 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director, Myanmar Research Centre/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team