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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 of KNU President Gen. Tamlabaw on 65th Anniversary of KNU Day

05 Feb 2012

Dear Members of the KNU, Karen Nationals at home and abroad, Members of the KNLA,

Today, February 5, 2012, is a historic day for the Karen people, being the Karen National Union Day. On this auspicious day, I would like extend my best wishes for peace of mind and physical health to members of the KNU, members of KNLA, Karen people at home and abroad.

We, the Karen people, have been living in this country called Burma (Myanmar), since time immemorial. Though the Karen people have lived long as a nationality, they have not had any of the rights, which a nationality should duly have.

To live in freedom as a people, the Karen had peacefully demanded the basic rights befitting a nationality, from successive oppressive governments. In order to have unity and one voice in making the demands, the Karen leaders merged the Karen National Association (KNA), Buddhist Karen National Association (BKNA), Karen Central Organization (KCO) and Karen Youth Organization (KYO), which were struggling for rights of the Karen people, into the Karen National Union (KNU) on the 5th of February 1947, in Rangoon.

Since its inception, the KNU has been leading the Karen people politically for liberation from oppression and for the right to equality in the struggle against oppressive governments. All along in the struggle for liberation from oppression and national equality, the KNU has to face attempts by the enemy regimes, in power, to sow discord by various means. At times, the KNU has to face splits and breakups within its organization due to weakening of unity and ideological differences, in the wake of division sown by the enemy regimes. All of us must learn lessons from these bitter experiences and prevent recurrence of such incidents.

As the political line of the KNU is a national political line, it is performing both for the establishment of rights of the ethnic nationalities and democracy, at the same time. Together with fellow ethnic nationalities and
democratic alliances, the KNU is struggling for equality and self-determination rights of fellow ethnic nationalities and democratic rights, for the entire people of the country.

The KNU has kept the door open for resolution of political problems by political means. At the present, on the overture from the government in power, the KNU has reached initial agreement to discuss for durable ceasefire, in order to proceed to political dialogue and negotiation. From dialogue and negotiation, the KNU hopes to get good results and is prepared to face the worst, as well.

Finally and in conclusion, I would like to urge all the KNU members, the KNLA members and the Karen people to perform unanimously for the establishment of a genuine Democratic Federal Union, which will guarantee the rights of equality, self-determination and democracy, which are the political goal of the KNU.


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Karen National Union