WANTED! – Karen Leader with Political Smarts, Works for the People and Listens to the People…

The 16th Congress of the Karen National Union (KNU) is underway. Karen News spoke to Karen leaders to get their opinions on the election for a new leadership that will come out during the Congress.

Naw K’nyaw Paw, (Secretary, Karen Women Organization)
“The Karen National Union represents all Karen people. Thus, the person who is going to become the leader of the Karen people must be broad minded. He or she has to respect everyone’s opinions and criticism. They have to be co-operative. They have to be able to look back at what has been done and rebuild or rearranges thing if it needs to be done. This is the responsibilities for the person who is going to become a leader of all Karen people – we have to find the right leader now.”

Mahn Win Maung (Secretary of Karen Literature and Culture Committee)
“We need someone who has potential, nationalism, and the ability to lead and organize the Karen people and who looks out for the people instead of oneself. We need someone who can establish our dreams and lead us to reach our goals in this coming congress. We need someone like that. I want someone like Saw Ba U Gyi.”

Naw Blooming Night Zan (Committee member, Karen Refugee Committee)
“We want a leader who plays by the rules. Secondly, we want a leader who will lead us in the right way. When it comes to leading, I don’t want a leader who forces the people to follow them without the people’s desire. We want someone who knows policy that has been laid down and to show it to people, so that people can follow it.”

Saw Kyi Lin (Secretary, Plone Swor Democratic Party)
“When it comes to leaders, the abilities of the former leaders and current abilities need to change in some ways. Before, when we used defense strategies, it was a situation where we needed to know our territory and protect it. Because it was about defending, we needed someone who knew war strategy. But now, it is about politics and we need someone who knows politics. The word politic is broad. Because it is broad, I think we need to choose someone who has full knowledge of how politics work.”

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