Karen Youth Want to Call KawThooLei Home

Young Karen advocates living in the United States want their homeland, to be known as KawThooLei and for it to be declared an independent country.

Karen youth have organized an event to push for KawThooLei, to be an independent country of the Karen. The event will be held on June 14, 2021 at Ritsche Auditorium, Saint Cloud State University, Minnesota, US.

Gay Ka Mwee, an event organizer said the objective of the event, KawThooLei Day, is to celebrate Karen culture and raise awareness of KawThooLei as the Karen Nation and told Karen News.

“June 14th marks the day our founding father, President Saw Ba U Gyi, formed the KawThooLei government and announced KawThooLei as an independent country. Our beloved leader President Saw Ba U Gyi, paid the ultimate price with his life. Now is the time for us, as the Karen people, to remember his legacy and raise awareness to the world, and we must teach younger generations our history.”

Gay Ka Mwee welcomed everyone to join the event, and said this is the first time Karen young people organized this event. The youth organizers said this is the first time June 14 has been recognized as the day when President Ba U Kyi founded KawthooLei as the Karen nation.

Gay Ka Mwee said “We want to instill pride in and an appreciation of our unique culture and language. This is the time for the world to learn of our existence, understand our culture, see our struggles, and recognize our nation. Understand our people have continually suffered in the world’s longest ongoing conflict with the Myanmar military dictatorship. KawThooLei deserves recognition on world maps, and all nations must recognize our legitimacy as an independent nation.”

The term Kawthoolei first saw widespread use after the June 1949 radio broadcast in which Saw B U Gyi announced the establishment of a free country of Kawthoolei. Prior to his announcement calls had been made for the recognition of a ‘Kaw Lah’ and ‘Kanyaw Kaw’ meaning ‘Green Country’ and ‘Karen Country’ respectively.

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