As many as 600 people attended the Karen National Union fourth liaison office opening ceremony in Myawaddy, Karen State that will serve as the main communication hub for the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army’s 6th and 7th Brigade areas.
During the opening ceremony, the government’s Railway Minister U Aung Min said that he hoped and believed that the KNU and the government will have regular and better communication.
General Mutu Say Poe, the KNLA Chief of Staff, said in his speech.
“We are opening liaison offices to one, build understanding through communication and two, to cooperate and work together.”
The Liaison Office opening ceremony was attended by General Mutu Say Poe, General Saw Johnny – Commander of KNLA 7th brigade, Padoh Saw Aung Maw Aye – KNU district chairman of Hpa-an District, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win – KNU district chairman of Megui/Tavoy District, Padoh Saw Lay Law Hsaw – KNU district chairman of Nyaunglebin District and KNLA and KNU officers.
Speaking to Karen News, Padoh Saw Aung Maw Aye said that in a peace building process, talk is easy, but actions are difficult and they will continue to work on the democratic principle of majority.
“I believe that the majority decision is the best. It is important to do according to the majority decision and to do it bravely and firmly. With guidance from the Central KNU, we will work toward solving political issues with political means as laid out by the KNU’s Congress.”
The government were represented by the Railway Minister U Aung Min who is also the Peace Work Committee vice chairman, U Khin Ye – Minister of Immigration and Population, U Zaw Min – Chief Minister of Karen State, Colonel Aung Lwin – Minister of Border Security Affairs, U Ohn Myint – Chief Minister of Mon State, Major General Tin Maung Win – Commander of South Eastern Command and various other state ministers.
Officers from other armed and political groups such as Major Hsan Aung and Major Kyaw Thet from Democratic Karen Buddhist Army’s KloHtooBaw brigade, Saw Nay Soe Mya from KNU/KNLA Peace Council, Lieutenant Maung Chit Thu and Major Maw Tho from Border Guard Force Sub-regional No. 3, government officials from the Myawaddy District, officials from the National League for Democracy, Plao Swaw Democratic Party and political party leaders.
U Soe Thein, NLD chairperson of Myawaddy District spoke to Karen News about the peace building.
“Our country wants a stop to this civil-war that has been raging since independence – everyone wants to have peace. I hope everyone will work together toward this. Our NLD members in Myawaddy District are ready to work together with anyone for the emergence of peace.”
Saw Kyaw Kyaw, a resident from Myawaddy Town said he hoped the event would lead to peace.
“I hope that the opening of the liaison office will be the beginning of working towards genuine peace. As a civilian, I want to see development and better economic opportunities.”
General Mutu Say Poe told the attendees at the ceremony that the KNU will continue to open liaison offices in other areas as agreed.
According to sources close to the KNU, the Myawaddy Liaison Office will be under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Paw Doh – Commander of the KNLA’s 101 Battalion in Brigade 7 and Captain La Min Commander of the KNLA’s Special Battalion in Brigade 6.
On April 9 and 10, the KNU opened two other liaison offices – in Kyaukgyi Town in Pegu Division and the other in Dawei Town in Tenniserrim Division. On May 15, the KNU officially opened its third liaison office in Three Pagoda Pass Town, Dooplaya District, Karen State – it is expected to serve as the branch office for Dooplaya District.