KNU Colonel faces trial in Thai Court

by Salai Pi Pi
Friday, 27 February 2009 18:12

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Leader of an ethnic Karen resistance group, Colonel Ner Dah Mya is facing trial in a court in Thailand, charged with illegal possession of a weapon , an official of the group said.

Saw David Taw, a Central Committee member of the Karen National Union, on Friday told Mizzima that Col Ner Dah Mya , son of the late Karen leader Saw Bo Mya, was facing trial at the Tak provincial court in Thailand, after he was released on bail on January 19.

Saw David Taw said the Ner Dah Mya was arrested by the Thai Army on January 18, near Umpien village in Tak province, opposite Burma’s Myawaddy town, and charged for possessing a weapon and illegally transporting migrants.

“He was arrested on February 18 but was released on bail the next day,” Saw David Taw said.

Although Ner Dah Mya was released on bail, Saw David Taw said, “He continues to face trial in a provincial court.”

The Karen National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the KNU, is Burma’s oldest insurgent group fighting for self-determination since 1948.

The KNLA suffered a heavy blow in 1995, when its headquarters Manerplaw, was overrun by the Burmese Army. Since then, the KNLA have been forced to retreat to the Thai-Burmese border and form temporary jungle camps. However, it continues to fight a guerrilla war against the Burmese Army.

David Taw said, Ner Dah Mya was in Tak province helping the KNLA in the area and denied the charges of illegally transporting migrants into Thailand. He said the heightened bilateral relationship between the Burmese military regime and Thailand might have led to the arrest of Col Ner Dah Mya.

“I think, our Colonel [Ner Dar Mya] has been arrested because the Burmese regime pressurized the Thai Army,” Saw David Taw said.

He added that the Burmese Army might have mounted pressure during the regular monthly meetings, held between Border Committees of the two countries.

One thought on “KNU Colonel faces trial in Thai Court

  1. madeleineblu

    I would like to comment on the following sentence and the word ‘insurgent’ in it.

    ‘The Karen National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the KNU, is Burma’s oldest insurgent group fighting for self-determination since 1948.’

    I would like to discuss the word ‘insurgent’ and suggest that the word ‘resistance’ more accurately reflects the history of the Karen; KNU; KNLA.

    The word ‘insurgent’ is interchangeable with the word ‘rebel'(an adjective and noun). The word ‘rebel’ is usually used when a group of people take up arms to rebel against a lawfully elected country or institution and is interchangeable with ‘disobedient’.

    This is not the situation that faced the Karen in 1948. The British betrayed the Karen and left Burma. Shortly after, the new independant government of Burma fired upon the Karen. The Karen did not start the hostilities. They did not rebel. They did have to defend themselves, to resist the government’s attack on them. A government which they had had no say in and therefore they cannot be called disobedient. They have had to resist and defend themselves with the following forms of government. Therefore the word ‘Resistance’ more accurately reflects the actions of the Karen in 1948.

    If anyone else would like to discuss the term Karen Resistance as opposed to rebel or insurgent please leave your comment which will be sent to me via email so that I can reply.

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