Message to the KNU – Unite for the Karen people

Karen community organizations, people and religious leaders in Burma have called for the Karen National Union (KNU) to resolve its internal conflict, unite and to continue its ongoing ‘peace-talks’ with the Burma’s government.

Representatives from different Karen social organizations, individuals and religions leaders were meeting for the third time to discuss how they could help, contribute and support the building of a sustainable peace in Burma, for the Karen people. The meeting was held in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State on October 13.

A Karen religious leader (who asked not to be named), at the meeting told Karen News.

“We want the KNU to unite and to resolve its conflict as soon as possible. We don’t want a split. If there is any disagreement between them, the best way is for them to meet, talk and resolve the problem.”

Karen organization representatives came from all points in Burma; the Irrawaddy Division, Rangoon Division, Pegu Division, Tenasserim Division, Mon State and Karen State to attend the meeting.

The main issue of discussion for the delegates was the recent public spat between KNU leaders that has worried Karen people around the globe.

Karen leaders submitted a statement to the KNU leadership to express their concerns, an analysis of the current KNU problems and to urge the KNU to find a solution to resolve its internal conflict and to get back to the ‘peace-talk’ negotiating table with the government delegations.

A statement from the Karen community leaders urged the KNU leaders not to destroy the peace process.

“If there are different viewpoints and if any disagreement arises on any issue, the solution can be reach, if negotiations are held.”

“The [KNU] should be aware and cautious of the danger that they could destroy the peace process. As the representatives of the organization [KNU] and the implementers of that organizations work, it is really important for all [the KNU leaders] to follow and abide with the organization’s policies.”

The recent internal conflict within the KNU leadership was the result of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) head, Gen Mutu Say Poe opening a liaison office without the KNU approval.

As a consequence the KNU dismissed Gen Mutu Say Poe and its secretary of its peace committee, the late Padoh Saw David Taw and Padoh Saw Roger Khin.

The Karen community and religious leaders and representative also had advice for the KNU in its ongoing peace talks between with the Burma government.

“The peace building process is not only between the union government and the armed ethnic groups, it needs to have the involvement of all the ethnic civilians, to do this the KNU needs to emphasis and work towards a peace process that involves all Karen people. The Karen people will not accept [KNU] doing business unless the implementation of a ceasefire rule and conduct is strictly followed.”

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