Statement of the Karen National Union - Karen National Liberations Army Peace Council
jonas m lanter
20th Oct 2009
On the 1st of October 2009 at 12:00 pm in the afternoon, Lt Gen Ye Myit and Lt Gen Khin Zaw together with 20 high ranking officers met with the Chairman of the KNU/KNLA Peace Council Gen Htay Maung and his high ranking military Karen officers at Hpa-An.
Gen Ye Myit is putting pressure on the Karen to accept his proposal of the Border Guard Force. This is similar to last May, when they presented the same approach to the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (PC) for them to accept the same said proposal before the scheduled election of 2010. Ye Myit said that if the Karen would accept his proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force then when the democratic government comes into power the KNU/KNLA PC will not be left out nor branded as an illegal armed force. The KNU/KNLA PC clarified that we will not accept the proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force as Ye Myit proposed. This is based on 3 main reasons as follows:
1. All Karen citizens do not accept Karen forces to become instruments of Burmese armed forces as this would result in creating more violence and oppression towards our own Karen civilians. In the past, having experienced nearly 60 years of conflict, our Karen people have had enough of the violence enacted on them. These acts are still fresh in the memories of all Karen. Recent evidence shows that even now the DKBA Karen troops who have accepted the Border Guard Force program under the Burmese Army, have brought conflict and war rather than peace to so many Karen villages today causing Karen to kill Karen as is evident in the 1st , 2nd, 3rd and 5th brigade areas at this present time. Many Karen have requested the KNU/ KNLA PC not to be enticed to accept such programs.
The Karen and all other ethnic states, need peace and development based on equality and the rights of all ethnic states to live in peace and harmony, working together with all governments to move towards the future development of Burma which will bring prosperity that is secure for all citizens within the nation.
The KNU/KNLA PC is also aware that in denying Ye Myit’s proposal this brings a risk of repeating the history of threat and violence towards the KNU/KNLA PC itself and many of our local Karen. But we will not waver in our stand for long-term peace. Even though we are now facing difficulties such as the cutting of food provisions, freedom to travel as well as blocking the rights of the KNU/KNLA PC to develop for the benefit of our own people, we are determined to stand continually for the peace and development of our people.We would like to give assurance to all Karen that no matter how tough the situation which we are going through up front, we will never betray the will of our people and will always stand for unity, freedom and prosperity for all Karen and will continually uphold the 4 principles of Saw Ba U Gyi to secure the future of all Karen and including the entire nation of Burma.
This is the statement of the KNU / KNLA PC
28th October 2009