In the speech at the commemoration of the 65th Karen Martyrs’ Day, the head of the Karen National Liberation Army, General Johnny called for all Karen people in the country, on the border and overseas to unite and get involved in the current political struggle.
General Johnny said that during the political struggle, inputs from all Karen people are important.
“We need to come together, bring out the best in everyone and continue our struggle until we achieve our self-determination.”
General Johnny was speaking during the commemoration ceremony held at the Karen National Liberation Army’s 7th Brigade Headquarters in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State.
The ceremony was attended by as many as 1,000 people including officials from the Karen National Union, KNLA officers, members of the ethnic alliance organizations and local Karen people.
Captain Saw Swee Nay Soe from KNLA HQ said. “Karen Martyr’s sacrificed their life for our cause and we as a new generation must carry on this duty until we fulfill our Karen peoples’ objective.”
Saw Htoo Say, a Mae Plo school student who attended the event said, “This commemoration ceremony brings back the memory of our past leaders. I fully recognize their sacrifice.”
The KNU Chairman, General Saw Mutu Sae Poe, who attended the ceremony paid homage to the Karen martyr’s in a speech
“The Karen national movement remains in existence today because of the life-sacrificing struggles made by the Karen martyrs, the help and support given by numerous Karen nationals, and their participation in over 60 years of armed resistance, under the leadership of the Karen National Union, to gain our political rights in accordance with the aspirations of the Karen people.”
The three-hour ceremony included reading out messages from the KNU’s Chairman, Saw Mutu Sae Poe, the Karen Women Organization and the Karen Youth Organization. Following the speeches KNU and KNLA officials placed wreaths on the martyrs’ plinth.
The Karen’s charismatic leader, Saw Ba U Gyi who was murdered on August 12, 1950, a day now marked to commemorate his death and all those soldiers and Karen people who died in the armed struggle for self-determination.