Karen people spread all over the world celebrated Karen New Year Day on January 10, 2016. Karen in Burma, on the border gathered at a wide variety of places to welcome the New Year.
Celebration took place in Shwe Kokko, Rangoon and Hpa-an, where the former, President U Thein Sein attended.
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, which won a landslide victory in the recent November 2015 election, including in Karen areas, sent a statement.
In her statement, Suu Kyi called for unity among ethnic nationalities and urged them to seek a lasting peace for the country. Suu Kyi’s statement reassured that she will work towards building peace in Burma based on a political system that guaranteed the rights of Karen people and all other ethnic nationalities.
Naw K’ynaw Paw, the secretary of the Karen Women Organization said Ms Suu Kyi’s reflected a desire to see power shared with ethnic people.
“I feel she is sending her respect and recognition to the Karen people on this Karen New Year day. This mutual respect and recognition is important, not only for Karen people who are trying to build national peace, but also important for other ethnic nationalities.”
General Mutu Say Poe, the chairperson of the Karen National Union in his address for the Karen New Year said that, “The entire Karen people’s aims and aspirations are to have freedom, equality and the right to decide our own destiny, as a nationality, through the establishment of a federal union. It is the same as having a full guarantee for each and every nationality and each and every person in the country.”
General Mutu Say Poe called for Karen people to remain united in the current political situation. In his address, General Mutu Say Poe stressed that Karen Had to work together to achieve their rights.
“Opportunity has arisen for our people to unify and speak in support for our national rights, viable existence and development.”
General Mutu pointed out that the heavily criticized Constitution had to fully guarantee Karen people their rights.
“Whether the opportunity is meager or much, it is necessary for us to work in unity, until our national rights are respected and recognized, and provided for in the Constitution. It is necessary to have full guarantee in the Constitution.”