Burma Army shoots down KNLA peace moves

Last week the Karen National Union announced in a media statement that it would hold a ceasefire day to acknowledge the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. The KNU statement asked the Burma government to do likewise.

“To demonstrate our commitment to peace, and respect for the United Nations, the KNU will observe a unilateral one-day ceasefire on 21st September 2011…the KNU calls on President Thein Sein to also order his Army to cease all military activities on the International Day of Peace.”

In spite of the KNU’s optimism the Burma Army ignore the KNU’s request and attacked a Karen army camp at Htee Wah Blaw area, near Myawaddy Township. A Karen National Liberation Army, Colonel Saw Eh Hser Hser, told Karen News that despite shelling from the Burma Army and Border Guard forces, the Karen army refused to retaliate. The Colonel said the attack happened on the morning of the International Peace Day.

“They [Burma Army and Border Guard Force] shelled us but we didn’t fire back. Thankfully, there were no injuries.”

KNU vice chairman David Tharc Kapaw said the Burma Army’s action has shown that it has no regard for international laws or convention.

“The shelling on the International Day of Peace clearly shows that the Burma Army disrespect international laws. The same happened last year on the same day of peace in our Brigade 4.”

Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 357 under Military Operation Command 12 and BGF battalion 1017 aligned groups shelled KNLA from near Htee Wah Blaw village around 8 am to 11 am.

In recent weeks the KNU has ‘urged’ Burma’s president, Thein Sein, to remove all Burma Army troops from Karen state.

“Withdraw all its troops from all ethnic states, which would be a major step towards resolving the political problems and armed conflict.”

Meanwhile, government troops continue its plans to wipeout Karen resistance. Burma Army soldiers attacked Karen army base in the Wor Lay area south of Myawaddy Township. Sources say there were casualties on both sides.

Lieutenant Colonel Nay Say, commander of KNLA Battalion 103 said Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 204 attacked a combined force of KNLA and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army fighters near the Megala River in the Wor Lay area.

“The fighting occurred near a bridge on the Megala River near Thay Gay Hta hill. Enemy troops numbering about 50 launched an attack at our base. The firefight lasted for 20 minutes. A KNLA and a DKBA fighter on our side were slightly wounded. We’ve learnt that we killed and wounded one Burma Army soldiers.”

Lieutenant Colonel Nay Say’s said the attack of heavy artillery shells and small weapons lasted for about 20 minutes.

Lieutenant Colonel Nay Say said that the Burma Army LIB 204 was deployed recently and tasked to wipeout all Karen insurgents in the area and is planning to launch more attacks against Karen fighters’ bases in the coming weeks.

The KNLA sources said that even though the Karen National Union, had called for a unilateral ceasefire on the International Peace Day, September 21, the government’s troops has never stopped operations or stopped the daily attacks.

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