Major General Saw Ler Pwe, the commander-in-chief of Democratic Karen Benevolent Army also known as Na Kham Mwe, died Today (March 13) from cancer at his home in Pegu Town.
Saw Yin Kyi, DKBA Liaison Officer in Kawkareik confirmed to Karen News about the general’s death.
“[Grandpa] Saw Ler Pwe suddenly vomited on his way home coming back from church. He was then sent to Pegu’s hospital and he died there.”
Sources from DKBA said that body of General Saw Ler Pwe is being transported from Pegu to DKBA’s Headquarter in Kawkareik township.
General Saw Ler Pwe, 55, had unsuccessfully undergone treatment for the cancer in both Burma and Singapore.
General Saw Ler Pwe was part of the faction that broke away from the Karen National Union in 1994, and signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burma military regime who supported the renegades with weapons and money. He then refused to join the Border Guard Force and fought against the government in 2010, a day after Burma’s national election. The group again signed ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein’s government in November, 2011.
General Saw Ler Pwe became infamous in Thailand after being put on a blacklist for being alleged by Thai authorities that he was trafficking in illicit drugs.
General Saw Ler Pwe called a press conference and in response to the then Thai Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said the Thai government’s action of including the DKBA leader on a list that named him as one of the 25 most wanted drug dealers was wrong, General Saw Ler Pwe told reporters at Kaw Thoo Mwe Khee Section in Walay area in Myawaddy Township that he was innocent and he has or his soldiers have never been involved in the drug trade.