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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 Saw Tamla Baw on 61st Anniversary of Martyrs’ Day

09 Aug 2011

Dear All the Karen National Union Leaders, Comrades and Karen People,

On this 61st Anniversary of Martyrs’ Day, while greeting the entire Karen nation, I would like to say something as follows.

First, I would like to say that we, the Karen people, hold ceremony on Martyrs’ Day in order to commemorate and honor the patriotism, faith and sacrifices made for the entire Karen people by martyrs Saw Ba U Gyi, KNLA officers, comrades and common people, who have given up their lives. On our part, we must be faithful to the martyrs, who have sacrificed their lives for the Karen people, and carry on their belief and their undertaking to completion.

The second point is that though we have struggled for liberation from the oppressive rule of the military dictatorships we have not reached our goal, up to this day. We are still within the process of national liberation movement. Like martyr Saw Ba U Gyi, many leaders, comrades and common people have sacrificed their lives. We must continue to walk on our path of revolutionary resistance, which is paved with the blood and sweat of the martyrs.

Though we have to face various kinds of difficulty and oppression and in spite of the enemy’s attempt to drive a wedge and sow division among us, the KNU is still standing firmly. This is because we struggle on by upholding the aims, visions and convictions of our leaders, comrades and the Karen people and by upholding the ‘Four Principles of Saw Ba U Gyi’ as the four political principles in our revolutionary movement.

The third point I would like to talk about is that though the military dictatorships transform into different forms, they cling firmly on to chauvinism (master race ideology) and military power. As the government elected in the 2010 elections governs according to the constitution written under the direction of the military dictatorship, there is not a single benefit for the ethnic nationalities. The affairs of the ethnic nationalities submitted for discussion in the parliament are not accepted. The government coming into power does not have also the will to resolve the political problems of the country. For the breaking up the revolutionary resistances of the Karen people and the ethnic nationalities, it is scheming to set up indirectly businesses and development works in the lands of the ethnic nationalities.

For that reason, we the revolutionaries, and the Karen people, supporting the revolutionary resistance, with revolutionary and political alertness and taking a lesson from the bitter experiences we have gone through in the past, must counter together the enemy’s subversion and propaganda to break up the revolution and all the activities that are harming the Karen people. Finally, in conclusion, I would like to say, “Do not harbor defeatism,” but let us fight on, hand in hand and with unity, together with the fellow ethnic nationality and the democratic forces, until we are able to establish a genuine democratic federal union.


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