The Karen National Union’s campaign to explain to Karen people the results of their peace talks with the Burma government drew a crowd of 300 in Hlaingbwe Township Karen state earlier this month. The series of KNU public meetings on the peace talk progress began on April 16 on the Thai Burma border.
The first meeting was held at a KNU controlled area in 7th Brigade in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Members of the KNU ‘peace talks’ delegation explained the ceasefire agreement and other related issues to more than 300 people who came from inside Burma and along the Thai-Burma border.
The six KNU delegates who spoke at the public meeting included the general secretary Naw Zipporah Sein, who led the second round ‘peace talks’ delegation, General Mutue Say Po, Padoh Saw Ah Toe, Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe, Naw Blooming Night Zan and Padoh Saw Hla Tun.
M’s Zipporah Sein explained to the public meeting the outcomes from the ‘peacetalks’.
“This round of talk with Burma government was to formalize the ceasefire agreement because the ceasefire agreement from the first round of talk was only a preliminary one.”
M’s Sein added that ceasefire agreement had to mean more than a signed agreement, it had to be practically implemented on the ground and that the KNU would work with the Burma government step-by-step to do so.
People attending the public meeting pointed out that even though the KNU signed the ceasefire agreement with Burma government, there is still fighting in Kachin state and that the KNU needs to be cautious in future talks.
Naw Blooming Night Zan, a KNU peace talk delegation member agreed and said the fighting in Kachin state is of great concern.
“The ongoing fighting in Kachin area is an issue that is worrying for us. We will also try to work on this issue.”
On April 6, the KNU 14 member delegation, led by the KNU’s general secretary, Naw Zipporah Sein, met with the Burma government 19-member delegation led by the Minister for Rail Transportation, U Aung Min achieved 13 common positions in formalizing an initial ceasefire agreement between the two sides.
In addition, the KNU delegation met with Burma’s President, U Thein Sein in the country’s capital Naypyidaw, 24 political parties in Rangoon on April 7 and on April 8 with Daw Aung San Su Kyi.
This is the second time KNU peace talk delegation held a public meeting in Hlaingbwe Township in Karen State. The first public meeting was held on January 16 after the KNU delegation had agreed on a preliminary ceasefire agreement with Burma government on January 12.