The Karen National Union have appealed for Karen civil society groups based inside Burma and oversea to voice their thoughts before the official ‘peace talks’ between the KNU and the Burma government takes place on January 12.
Naw Zipporah Sein, general secretary of KNU told Karen News that the KNU meeting with the government is critically important to all Karen people and it is vital for the KNU to get the opinions and views from a wide range of Karen organizations.
“We’ve sent out an invitation letter have had a good response from both inside and oversea Karen organisations. Most agree that it is good to have real political dialogue with the government, but all say the KNU should be cautious and to be careful not to make the wrong decision. All the Karen urged the KNU to analyze deeply the government’s attitude and agenda.”
Naw Ziporah Sein said so far the KNU has received replies from 80 individuals and many Karen organizations from Australia, Sweden, US and Malaysia have responded.
Mahn Denis Saw Htoo, secretary of the Malaysia Karen Organization said.
“We would like the KNU to be vigilant in their discussions. If the dialogue is successful, there should be real tangible benefits for Karen people.”
Saw Law Eh Soe, a Karen photographer based in the US, whose work was widely by the international media during the so-called ‘Saffron Revolution’ in September 2007 said.
“It is the best way – talk around the table. The government has realized that they need the participation of Daw Aung San Su Kyi and all ethnic groups. It’s good the dialogue between the KNU and government will happen – it’s the right decision.”
The KNU have held three sets of preliminary ceasefire talks with a Burma government delegation in Thailand – the next meeting with the government will be the first time the two sides have met officially. The much anticipated meeting will be at Pa’an Town, Karen state on January 12, 2012.
A KNU source said they have also requested its military wing, the commanders of the Karen National Liberation Army’s seven brigades to explain the current ‘peace talks’ process to all Karen villagers.
The KNU has invited Thailand based organization such as the Karen Women Organization, Karen Youth Organization, Karen Student Network Group, Karen University Student Group, Karen Refugee Committee, and Karen Environmental and Social Action Network are being invited. KNU invites were also sent to religious leaders, Karen organizations in Norway, England, Sweden, Canada, Australia, US, Malaysia, and Japan.