Karen National Union marks 62nd Martyrs’ Day

The President of the Karen National Union (KNU) Saw Tamla Baw, marked the 62nd anniversary of Martyrs’ Day with a speech to fellow KNU leaders, members and the wider ethnic Karen community, today Sunday, August 12th.

In the speech Saw Tamla Baw commemorated the lives of Karen people who had died in the struggle for self-determination and equality, against Burma’s government and military.

“I would like to say that the objective of our commemoration and honoring the martyrs, who had struggled for justice and freedom… We must all work together for the new generations to inherit and uphold their traditions, ideals and convictions.” Saw Tamla Baw said.

The core revolutionary and political principles of the KNU are:
– Surrender is out of the question
– The KNU shall retain its arms
– Recognition of Karen State must be complete
– The Karen People shall decide they’re own destiny

Speaking about the current political situation, Saw Tamla Baw said that Pressident, Thein Sein’s current government was indeed carrying out positive reforms, but that much more had to be done before lasting peace could be attained.

“It is my analysis that the government, in practice, is conducting dialogue with emphasis only on business matters, rather than dialogue for peace with political essence. The other fear is that, in addition to the very weak participation of the Tatmadaw [government armed forces] in the peace building process of the government, the acts of Tatmadaw, in some cases, are a hindrance and danger to the peace building process.”

Saw Tamla Baw also said that human rights abuses committed by the Burma Army undermined the peace process:

“In order to be able to put out the fire of ongoing civil war, we view the participation of Tatmadaw, with a correct attitude, is extremely important. I would like to urge President U Thein Sein’s government to conduct a transparent and politically meaningful negotiation, if it desires to establish genuine peace with the ethnic nationalities and proceed to a modern, developed, and democratic new State. Otherwise, the civil war will go on.”

Saw Tamla Baw, concluded by stressing that a new and peaceful Burma must be comprise of a Federal Union, where all ethnic communities are represented, and not be a centralized state.

“Let us march on to victory by cooperating together with our fellow oppressed ethnic nationalities and forces fighting for democracy, as the goal of the Karen people’s revolutionary resistance is the establishment of a genuine Democratic Federal Union.”

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