SPDC pressures KPF to form Border Guard Force

Kao Wao News
An emergency meeting was held by the Karen Peace Force in the capital of Mon state this week to discuss the appointment of a new party leader and the transformation of its soldiers into a Border Guard Force, a source close to the KPF said to Kaowao requesting anonymity.

The KPF Chairman Saw Thamu Hel, Vice-Chairman Colonel Daw Daw, Secretary Man Aung Tin Myint and Lt Col. Saw Awbar were at the emergency meeting on February 17 in Moulmein (Motmaleum in Mon) following the return of the party’s ailing chairman from Bangkok who is suffering from cancer.

An SPDC Military Affairs Security Unit officer also attended the meeting. Under pressure by the SPDC, the KPF will also form their Border Guard Force.

“At this moment, Saw Thamu Hel is on the brink of death and lies seriously ill in bed after returning from Bangkok for medical treatment, we are now counting his last days,” the source said. Though his death is a sad thing, the members of the Karen ceasefire group back their vice-chairman, Daw Daw to be chosen as the party’s new leader.

The top leaders of the KPF will meet on February 21 with the Southeast Military Commander General Thet Naing Win in Mon state to discuss the Border Guard Force transformation, which will be comprised of over 1,000 men. One border guard battalion includes 326 troops and 18 officers.

An interview in May 2009 with a key figure from the KPF said that many are not happy with the arrangement but have no option to agree the SPDC’s demands, for example the ‘K’ (for Karen) has been removed from the KPF.

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