This year is the 64th anniversary of the Karen Revolution Day and for the first time, members of the Burma government’s army and militia attended the ceremony.
A number of Karen Revolution Day ceremonies were held at various statewide locations. As many as 50 Border Guard Force (BGF) militia attended a ceremony at the Karen National Union, Brigade 7, Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State.
In 2009 a faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) agreed to become Border Guard Force, under the control of the Burma Army, this was the first time for any government militia to attend the annual Karen Revolution Day ceremony.
Speaking to Karen News, Major Saw Maung La Wah from the 1015th BGF Battalion said.
“This is the first time we have a chance to take part in this ceremony. I’m really glad to see the unity of our [Karen] people here.”
Major Saw Maung La Wah, said that he would work together with the Karen National Union (KNU so that the Karen people would be able to live in peace .
A Karen woman, from Bilin Township, who took part in the ceremony, told Karen News.
“I’m really delighted to see that the BGF attended the [Karen Revolution] ceremony this year. I hope they will join again next year in unity.”
More than 1,000 people took part in the cerebration, including KNU chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe, KNLA Major General Saw Johnny, KNU Pa-an district chairman Pado Saw Aung Maw Aye, Defence Minister Pado Saw Roger Khin, representatives from the military, the BGF, border based and overseas Karen organizations and Karen students.
Speaking at the ceremony, KNU chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe said.
“We, Karen people had to live under the oppression of other people because of our lack of unity. I would like to urge that it is not only the responsibility of KNU but all Karen people to involve in the movement of striking for our self-determination, equal rights and bringing a prosperous and developed life for Karen people.”
Chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe said that currently the Burma government and the KNU have signed a preliminary ceasefire agreement. However, in order to get to a concrete ceasefire agreement and to peace building process, the KNU will continue to cooperate with other ethnic alliance groups.
Speaking to Karen News, KNU Pa-an District Chairman, Padoh Aung Maw Aye said.
“We, Karen people didn’t start our revolution because we like fighting wars. We started to get our self-determination and to have equal rights. We celebrate our revolution day to honor and remember our fallen heroes who have given their lives and shed their blood for our cause. At the same time, we need to remember that we have to continue our struggle in unity, until we reach our goals.”
The Karen Revolution Day ceremony held in KNU districts and KNLA brigades across Karen State. The Karen Revolution Day ceremony held at Oo Klay Khi village in Kawkreik Township, Dooplaya District was attended by the KNU vice chairperson, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein.