KNU leaders hold ’emergency meeting’

The Karen National Union is to hold a ‘special emergency’ meeting tomorrow, Thursday 25th October, to solve differences between two factions that have recently emerged that threatened to divide the KNU and de-rail ‘peace talks’ with the government.

In an effort to reach an agreement between the two factions, KNU leaders, including both sides, met for two days earlier this week to try to negotiate a settlement.

The two-day meeting on October 22nd and 23rd was held at Lay Wah area in Pa-an District, Karen State. Both of the groups attended – group one was represented by Padoh David Tharckapaw, vice chairman of the KNU, Naw Zipporah Sein, the general secretary, Padoh Saw Hla Ngwe, –joint secretary 1 and Padoh Saw Dawt Lay Mu, joint secretary 2.
Group two was represented by Padoh Saw Roger Khin, Padoh Shwe Maunn, the district chairman of Dooplaya District, Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win, district chairman of Megui/Tavoy District, Padoh Saw Lay Law Hsaw and Colonel Saw Htoo Htoo Lay.

KNU and Karen National Liberation Army leaders who held to neutral positions included Padoh Mahn Ying Sein, a KNU Central supreme judge, Brigadier General Saw Johnny, Commander of KNLA 7th Brigade, Brigadier General Saw Baw Kyaw Hei, Commander of KNLA 5th Brigade and Saw Say Ler Taw, a KNU standing committee member also attended the meeting.

Padoh Saw Hla Ngwe, the joint secretary 1 spoke to Karen News about the meeting.

“We mainly discussed and laid down the agenda in order for us to hold a Central Committee meeting. We need to hold a Central Committee special meeting and that’s what we agreed to do.”

Padoh Saw Hla Ngwe said that during the two day meeting the KNU members discussed and evaluated the current divisions to assess what the organization’s weakness and strengths were, how the KNU could learn from it, and how the organization could move forward with strength and unity.

Sources close to the KNU said the agenda for tomorrow’s Central Committee ‘special emergency’ meeting will include the recent dismissal of three of its leaders and the current position of the organization.

After the ‘special emergency meeting’, the KNU plan to hold its last Central Committee meeting before the organization’s 15th Congress. Elections will be held at the 15th Congress to elect the KNU office bearers for the next four years.

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