As many as a thousand people turned out to pay their last respects at Padoh Saw David Taw’s funeral which was held at Thay Bay Hta in the Karen National Union 7th brigade.
The crowd included David Taw’s family, officials from KNU and KNLA, Padoh Saw Ah Toe, Padoh Saw Roger Khin, Padoh Saw Thaw Thi Bwe, Padoh Kwe Htoo Win, Padoh Saw Tender, Padoh Saw Lay Law Hsaw, Padoh Shwe Maunn and Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung.
Among the large crowd were U Hla Ngwe Soe – managing director of Dawei Princess Company, actor Wai Lu Kyaw from Blood Donation Group in Rangoon, Dr. Cynthia Maung, members of community organizations, representatives of various political parties and Karen who traveled from overseas.
Saw Eh Kaw Taw, youngest son of David Taw recalled his father’s works for the Karen people. Speaking to Karen News, he said.
“Dad was our leader of our family. We have seen his hard work for the cause of his people since we were kids. He always guided us to do the right thing and he is truly a hero for our family. He often mentioned the peace process saying that difficult parts should be kept aside first and dealt with later. He never wanted to see division amongst the Karen. He said that he would work until the end.”
The funeral service began with Christen prayers and singing. Then, the reading excerpts from Padoh David Taw’s life, condolences were offered from the Central KNU, the Karen community organizations and allied organizations. Lt. General Mutu Say Poe spoke about the peace talks and said padoh David Taw’s death was a big loss – General Mu Tu said he vowed to continue the peace process according to the will of the Karen people.
U Bo Thaung, a former MP with the National League for Democracy in Ying Mar Pin Township in Sagaing Region, spoke to Karen News at after the funeral service.
“David was a person with good personality. He worked hard for the benefit of others. We are very sad to lose him now, as he involved in the peace talks and his death came before he reached the goal of peace.”
Mahn Ba Tun, the KNU district level committee member of Hpa-an District told Karen News.
“His death might have some effects on the peace process. The leaders and those people those left behind will have to strike for a genuine peace.”
Unable to attend the funeral service, Ministers from the Presidential Office, U Soe Thein and U Aung Min, Union Minister U Khin Ye, Karen Affair Minister Saw Tun Aung Myint, Karen State Security and Border Affair Minister Colonel Aung Lwin, Taung Galay Sayadaw (Abbot) sent wreaths of condolences to David Taw’s funeral service.
Wreaths were placed around the tomb after a letter of dismissal of Lt. General Mutu Say Poe was read out by Major Eh Hser Hser from KNLA 7th Brigade, before David Taw’s body was interred in a concrete tomb.
Padoh Saw David Taw died on Sunday, October 14 at 10pm in Mingaladon Military Hospital in Rangoon from complications from lung diseases, diabetes and liver failure. His body was brought back to the border on October 15 with the funeral arrangement made by Saw Tun Aung Myint, the Chairman of Karen People’s Party, Dr. Simon Tha and his wife, Nan Say Awa, the Member of Parliament from the Plao-Sawaw Democratic Party that is based in Hpa-an and Saw Boe Ni, a peace mediator.
David Taw was born on March 10 in 1948 at Thit Phyu Chaung village, Hinthada Township in the Irrawaddy Delta, his parents were Naw May Poe and U Shwe Taw. He graduated from Rangoon University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Art in History.
David Taw joined the Karen revolution on March 23 in 1979 at Hpa-an District. In 1983, he was promoted from the district level to Central Finance Department. Then in 1986, he was appointed to work in General Saw Bo Mya’s office [KNU Chairman at that time]. After that, he served as Committee member in the KNU’s Foreign Affair Department eventually promoted to the head of the KNU’s Justice Department.
In 1988, David Taw served as secretary in various opposition organizations such as the Democratic Alliance of Burma, the National Democratic Front and the National Health and Education Committee. In 2004, he also served as the secretary of Ethnic Nationalities Council.
In 2004 and 2005, Padoh Divid Taw was also involved in ceasefire talks between the KNU (led by General Saw Bo Mya) and the Burma government and in 2011 and 2012 was the KNU’s secretary of the Peace Committee involved in the current peace talks between the KNU and the government. He was a leading member of the KNU delegation that negotiated the State Level ceasefire agreement with the government on January 2012.
Padoh David Taw is survived by his wife, Naw Jin Jar, two daughters and two sons.