The Karen National Union (KNU) is a democratic organisation respresenting the Karen people of Burma. Our goal is peace and prosperity in a democratic federal Burma.

Address by KNU President Saw Tamlabaw on 61st Anniversary of Karen Revolutionary Day

31 Jan 2010

Dear All Karen Nationals, Officers and Men of the Karen National Liberation Army,

On the 61st Anniversary of the Karen people’s revolutionary resistance which falls on January 31, 2010, I would like to extend firstly, my best wishes to officers and men of the KNLA and the Karen people for the best of health and spirit.

• We the Karen are a people desiring freedom and peace. We have lost freedom and peace due to oppressive domination by the chauvinists. Though the Karen people had peacefully made a demand for their apposite rights, the oppressive AFPFL government not only ignored the demand but also started to militarily attack the KNU headquarters on January 31, 1949, the Karen people’s movement has become an armed conflict, when the Karen people started to resist.

• We, the Karen people, have experienced the oppression and unjust war imposed on us by successive regimes and the ruling military clique for 61 years now. Though we have faced various difficulties and crises, we are still in existence because of the faithful sacrifices, in life and blood, made by the Karen people and members of the Karen National Liberation Army.

• With great foresight, leaders of the KNU have consistently endeavored to resolve the political problems by political means. They have talked with the military dictatorship on a number of occasions. However, the military dictatorship, without any desire to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, has continued its attempt to annihilate the Karen people’s resistance by military means. It has been destroying all the possessions of the Karen people. It is only telling us to “enter the legal fold and surrender arms.”

• I would like to warn all of you to be especially alert to the wicked and evil machination by the ruling military clique to divide and breakup the Karen resistance organization and the Karen people, in this year of 2010. We must oppose all attempts by the enemy to divide us. Though the ruling military dictatorship has been saying that it is going to hold a democratic the election in 2010, it is still waging war in the Karen State and violating human rights. This act is a systematic plan by the military clique to eliminate the entire Karen people. It has also systematically carrying out the scheme to assassinate top leaders of the KNU, by various means. Though the Karen revolutionary resistance has been in existence for more than 60 years, as the entire Karen people have not still reached the expected goal, we must struggle on to gain the free and peaceful Karen land, with self-determination, aspired to by the entire Karen people.

For that reason and in conclusion, I would like to urge the entire Karen people and the KNLA to struggle on under the guidance of the KNU and in accordance with the 4 principles of Saw Ba U Gyi, with durable courage and correct national spirit, together with fellow oppressed ethnic nationalities and the democratic forces, until the termination of the military dictatorship.

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