Community calls on KNU to put the peoples’ interest first

Karen people are relieved that the Karen National Union have found after intense discussion peaceful solutions to resolve the organisations internal conflict.

The KNU released a statement on Saturday 27 October that said it had to its member satisfaction resolved its recent internal rifts and that “the KNU leaders agree to march on in accordance to the basic principles and policies of the KNU.”

Naw Lu, a Karen villager on the Thai-Burma border told Karen News.

“We all are happy here. In the future, we would like them [the KNU leaders] to work together. To share their different strategies and to avoid hiding their plans from each other.”

The KNU statement was released came after an emergency Standing Committee meeting, in Lay Wah, Pa-an district on October 25 and 26.

The special KNU meeting was called to resolve disagreement and ramifications of the recent dismissal of three KNU leaders – the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Chief Of Staff General Mutu Say Poe, Padoh Saw Roger Khin, and the late Padoh Saw David Taw for a breach of protocol.

The meeting agreed that the dismissed leaders be reinstated and would retain their former positions.

Saw Milton, Secretary of Mae Ra Moe/Mae Rama Luang refugee camp committee spoke to Karen News.

“There will be always conflict, but we would like to see the KNU resolve any internal conflict that arises by negotiation instead of publically accusing each other.”

Thera Danial Zu, the national general secretary of Australian based Australian Karen Organization (AKO), told Karen News he was still concerned about the unity among the KNU leadership.

“We are not sure how much they will work together in planning and working together to carry out the same policy in the future. We would like to see all involved compromising, we don’t want to see the problem is solved by one side applying pressure.”

Many Karen express that the recent KNU internal disunity is not only caused by the recent incident, but has its roots since the last KNU Congress in 2008.

Saw Raymond Bu, the general secretary of Tham Hin refugee camp committee said.

“The KNU leadership seems like it has factions, rather than one united leadership. If the KNU leadership continues to operate like this there will be no progress, only an united leadership will improve the situation. The leaders need to work together, express their different viewpoints and share them openly.”

Most Karen people say they would like to see a united KNU leadership that is working on behalf of the peoples’ interest.

Naw Lu told Karen News.

“For next coming Karen leaders we want the leaders who stand for their people and work to gain the Karen peace.”

Thera Danial Zu, explained to Karen News.

“We want to see the next KNU leadership that will work and think for the whole Karen nation, not on behalf of a particular region or a particular group, they should work for all the Karen in Burma, on the Thai-Burma border and for the overseas Karen. They should represent and work for the whole Karen, not just pay lip service while working in their own interest. We need a KNU leadership that the whole Karen nation can trust”

Saw Raymond Bu told Karen News that he would like to see, “leaders who understand KNU principals, policies and to follow them, not only in talk but in practice.”

Saw Raymond Bu said that it is important for KNU leaders to be loyal to their people.

“We want to see a new generation of leadership to lead the organization, namely Naw Zipporah Sein, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win and other young leaders from the Districts and Brigades must be brought in – the older leadership can act as advisors.”

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