DKBA monk U Thuzana ‘has lung disease’

A prominent monk revered within the pro-Burmese junta Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) is being treated in a Bangkok hospital for lung disease.

It is the second time this year that U Thuzana has been admitted to hospital: he fainted in February and was the diagnosed with the illness. The influential monk has reportedly been in hospital for one week.

In September last year, Thuzana attempted to act as a mediator between the DKBA and the opposition Karen National Union, which has been fighting the Burmese government for six decades. The DKBA split from the KNU in 1995 and allied itself to the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Weeks prior to the DKBA’s formation, Thuzana had formed the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association, the political wing of what was to become one of Burma’s most notorious militias. The split followed a revolt by Thuzana, joined by his Buddhist followers, against what they alleged was religious discrimination by the predominantly Christian KNU leadership.

An associate of the monk who has been visiting the Bumrungrad hospital over the past week said that doctors were waiting to see whether the 62-year-old needed surgery. His condition is said to be improving.‘has-lung-disease’/10509

‘I Will Stop Fighting My Fellow Karen’: Chit Thu

At a ceremony to honor fallen comrades on Saturday, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) commander Col Chit Thu vowed: “I will stop fighting my fellow Karen.”

Chit Thu made the remark in front of about 10,000 people at the ceremony held in Shwe Koko, the headquarters of the DKBA’s special battalion 999, in Karen State. Chit Thu is the commander of the DKBA Brigade 999.

The event was organized to pay respect to DKBA soldiers who died in battles between the DKBA and its mother organization, the Karen National Union (KNU). The DKBA split from the KNU and signed a cease-fire with the Burmese regime in 1995.

U Mahn, a Karen guest speaker at the event, said, “It is not a happy day for us. In fact, it is a sad day because we are remembering the men who died at the hands of our fellow Karen.

“Our people will only die if we continue to fight against each other. Nobody will come and help us,” he added.

During the ceremony, U Mahn said he also visited the graves where some 300 DKBA soldiers were buried. After visiting the cemetery, he said, “The soldiers in the graves in front of us were not the victims of wars against the Japanese or British. They were killed by their fellow Karen.

“It is time for us to stop killing each other and be united,” he said. Continue reading “‘I Will Stop Fighting My Fellow Karen’: Chit Thu”