KNU President Saw Tamla Baw says peace needs a 1,000 more steps

The Karen National Union President, Saw Tamla Baw, speaking on the 63rd Anniversary of Karen National Revolution remembered the sacrifice his people had made since the armed resistance had begun in 1949. The KNU president used the occasion to call for national unity among ethnic people and democratic forces, the release of all political prisoners and to remain vigilant during the peace process.

“The release of a considerable number of political prisoners on January 13 delighted us, but the detention still of those, who should be free, makes us quite unhappy. In one mind with the entire people, we call on U Thein Sein government to release again political prisoners to the last man, unconditionally.”

Saw Tamla Baw spoke in his address about the January 12, meeting the KNU delegation had in Pa-an town with the delegation representing President Thein Sein that signed two preliminary agreements, but warned it was early days and the government had to do a lot more.

“We still have to take thousands of steps more. The success depends very much on broadmindedness of U Thein Sein government and the irreversible achievement made in the march to democracy by it. I would like to remind you all to maintain a critical mind and hope for the best without suspicion and desire to revenge, and at the same time be prepared for the worst.”

Saw Tamla Baw urged the Karen people to remember the deeds of their fallen heroes and not to forget who their enemy is. He made reference to an infamous statement made by Burma Army General Maung Hla since 1993.

“I would like to remind you to take note especially of words of the Karen people’s enemy, who said that Karen people would be seen only in the museum, one day.”

Saw Tamla Baw warned the Karen people and the KNU to be vigilant during the peace talk process as previous attempts had achieved little and the struggle was not over.

“The [past Burma military] regimes in power, bent on using the violence of military conquest, persistently push us to enter the legal fold, lay down arms, in the end. They closed down talks, launched massive military offensives, and tried to wipe out the Karen revolution forever. I would like to urge all to remember the words of well-known historian, Toynbee, who said that ‘those who fail to learn lessons from history are bound to repeat the past mistakes’.”

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