Have Your Say: Padoh Naw Zipporah Urges for Genuine Peace and Ethnic Unity

In an exclusive interview with Karen News, Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein, despite losing her position as vice-chairperson in the Karen National Union’s 16th Congress recent election, urged the new leaders to work for a genuine peace and to be united with the country’s ethnic nationalities.

The KNU 16th congress have elected new a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, joint secretary 1 and 2. And the Central Standing Committee members have been elected. The former vice chairperson, joint secretary 1 and 2 who served in the 15th KNU congress were not re-elected, we were not even elected as Central Standing Committee members. Even though we were not elected, our perception is that whether or not we are elected – the works to be done for our national cause are everywhere. We can still work for our nation. Therefore, there are no difficulties.

Some people from outside think we were hard-liners. I its because we are considered hard-liners, that we were not elected to be in the Central Standing Committee anymore? In my opinion, many people still want us. They really want us to be so. We heard that some leaders were disappointed that our names were not in the result. I want to encourage our citizens and my colleagues from inside and outside of Burma not to be disappointed. There are so many things to do regarding our national cause. Even though we were not elected for both Central Standing Committee and as Central Executive Committee members, we can still work for our nation together. We will hold our hands and still work together.

I want to let people know is that there is a misunderstanding that we are hard-liners and we don’t want peace. It isn’t true. Whether we were elected or not, we love peace. We really want to get freedom from any form of oppression. We want genuine peace for our people. Our aim is to get genuine freedom from the military government. We support the current cease-fire agreement and peace process. We are very desperate to reach our goal. We really worked hard.

There is something that makes us worried about reaching our goal. Our enemy is still working on their military tactics. That’s why we are worried. We don’t want to be in their trap and be persuaded by them.
I want to say is that we truly love and want peace. We tried in our own way because we want unity. The peace building during this next 4 to 8 years, is one of our goals. It is only a matter of time.

We give our best wishes to the newly elected leaders. They have been given the responsibility to work for the people for the next four years. There will be obstacles regarding the peace process and cease-fire agreement process, but I would like to encourage them.
We walk together with ethnic people. We are oppressed like any other ethnic group. Thus, ethnic problems and political problems are our problems too. We have to find a way to work together in the future. When building a Federal State, we want to encourage other ethnic leaders to fight for freedom together. I want to encourage that we will follow the principles that was set out in the 16th congress of the KNU step-by-step and work together for the people. If we follow what we planned, what we want will happen for sure. 

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