KNU/KNLA Peace Council Statement

knla pc
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.

2. We do not believe in using democracy issues as a means to swallow up all the ethnic rights and peace forces including that of the KNU/KNLA PC Peace Forces, to come under the program of the Border Guard Force. Democracy issues and the Burmese military program are two separate issues which cannot be used by either one to support the other. These different issues cannot be resolved by commands and orders but need time to be discussed in a manner of peaceful dialogue and in mutual trust, together with all the indigenous ethnic leaders and before an accredited third party. The aim of this dialogue is to bring long- term peace and equality within all the ethnic states and in relation to the nature of the landscape and country itself, which is historically owned by the different ethnic groups within Burma. We are diverse ethnicities, but we can be one nation based on sincerity and truthfulness towards one another in a union spirit.

3. The KNU/KNLA PC will continually maintain peace and development in the interests of all Karen and the people of Burma as a whole. The KNU/KNLA PC recognize and support the desire expressed by Senior Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye to see a peaceful transition to democracy. We believe that accepting military programs will only continue the confusion, fear, and never-ending conflict resulting in disruption to the democratic process for the year 2010.

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.

May God bless you and be with you all.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 October 2009 02:07 )