This years Karen National Day was widely celebrated by villagers, soldiers, refugees and displaced people throughout Karen areas in Burma.
A large crowd attended the 65th Anniversary of the Karen National Day held in Karen National Union (KNU) 7th Brigade, Karen State on February 11.
Speaking to Karen News, Naw Eh Moe, who said she was pleased to be able to attend this years ceremony said.
“I’m delighted to have a chance to attend the Karen National Day celebration. I always go to our Revolution Days and Martyr Days. Today is Karen National Day and it is very special to us.”
Thousands of people, including the KNU chairman General Mutu Say Poe, held Karen flags, and placards that detailed the original slogans carried by Karen demonstrators in 1948 demanding equal rights and Karen independence. The four written slogans in Karen translated as ‘Give the Karen State at once’, ‘Give the Burman one Kyat and the Karen one Kyat’, ‘We do not want communal strife’ and ‘We do not want civil war’.
Speaking to Karen News, General Mutu Say Poe said.
“I’m very glad to see the public attend the Karen National Day this morning. Even today, the slogans are very important for the Karen Nation. Why the slogans emerge is it is because of the Karen people were under oppression and there was annihilation of the ethnic people.”
General Mutu Say Poe stressed that the Karen people wanted what was said in the slogans – “liberty, equal rights, to live in harmony and peace”.
People from Kyone Doh, Kya In-Seik Gyi, and Kawkareik Townships, in the KNU 6th Brigade, Dooplaya District and the people from Tay Khar Hta Township, 5th Brigade, Papun District, turned out in large numbers to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Karen National Day.
The day’s ceremonies also united most of the Karen armed groups – the Karen National Union, Border Guard Force (BGF), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and KNU/KNLA peace council attended the celebrations in Kyonedoe Township.
Speaking to Karen News, Saw Myint Oo who was at the ceremony said.
“This year the public has the chance to be actively involved in the Karen National Day celebrations they have freedom of speech. Next year I want the celebration to show our Karen unity.”
The Karen National Day celebrates the peaceful demonstration made by more than 400,000 Karen people marched from Myitkyina, Kachin State, Northern Burma to Myeik, in Southern Tenasserim on February 11, 1948, demanding equal rights and justice for all Karen.
Based on the Day, the Kawthoolei International congress in Papun Township was held on November 23 to 25, 1953. At the congress, Deltas No.1 District chairman U Aye Kyaw proposed and No.1 LID Commander General Kaw Htoo support that proposal without objection. Then, February 11 regards as Karen National Day.