Karen students demand ‘genuine peace’

A Karen student organization has come out in support of the Karen National Union and the Burma government ‘ceasefire talks’ and urges the government to establish genuine peace. The KNU and the government plan to officially meet in Pa-an Town on 12th January to negotiate a solution to the 60-year civil war.

The Karen Student Network Group (KSNG) said in a statement.

“We support the KNU entering peace talks, and we call on the Burmese government to enter into a nationwide ceasefire and engage in genuine political dialogue that brings permanent peace, and guarantees equality for all, regardless of our gender, economic situation, ethnicity, and religion.”

The KSNG statement also demanded that the talks should “provide political rights that protect all people living in Burma and also protects the environment.”

KSNG released the statement after it held its general assembly session for 2011 on the Thailand-Burma border in late December, 2011.

A KSNG spokesperson, Naw Hsa Moo, spoke to Karen News about the January peace talks.

“We urge the KNU and the government to establish a ‘peace with justice’ – a peace that will grant equal rights for politic social, economic and gender equality.”

Naw Hsa Moo said the KNU and the government have to start a genuine political dialogue if it is to benefit all Karen people.

“It has to be a peace that allows refugees and internally displaced people to return to their homelands to rebuild their lives. It has to be a peace that guarantees their rights to education, health.
Landmines need to cleared up and the Burma government has to withdraw its troops from Karen areas to allow Karen villagers to return home safely – this has to be apriority not development projects.”

KSNG was formed in 1996, with the aim of uniting and strengthening and preparing Karen youth for taking leadership roles in fighting for human rights and democracy in Burma. It consists of 10 student-working groups with a membership of over 3,000 students and operates along the Thai-Burmese border. KSNG works to promote education among the Karen community as well as promoting Karen culture by bringing together Karen young people for cultural and sporting events and educational workshops.

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