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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 63rd Anniversary of Karen National Revolution

31 Jan 2012

Dear All Karen Nationals,
Officers and Men of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA),

Firstly, on this January 31, 2012 day, which is the 63rd Anniversary of Karen National Revolutionary Resistance and in the auspicious time of the New Year, I would like to extend my best wishes for health and happiness to the officers and men, and all the Karen people.

Men and women comrades of the KNLA, who are protecting the entire Karen people while fighting against oppressive regimes in succession, since the time the Karen armed resistance started on January 31, 1949, are heroes, and the lives, blood, sweat and tears of the Karen people are invaluable sacrifices. The pillar of just truth laid down as foundation by the thousands of martyred heroes is a guarantee for victory. If this just truth has not been established, there would be no Karen life, soul and nationality. I would like to remind you to take note especially of words of Karen people’s enemy, who said that Karen people would be seen only in the museum, one day.

  Leaders of the KNU have the custom of patience, broad mindedness and farsightedness. They have made the effort consistently to resolve political problem by political means. However, the regimes in power, bent on using the violence of military conquest, persistently push us to enter the legal fold, lay down arms, in the end. They close down talks, launch massive military offensives, and try to wipe out the Karen revolution forever. Having the habit of reticence, the Karen people have to suffer losses and the World knows that they have to swim in a sea of misery, up to this day. At this point, I would like to urge all to remember the words of well-known historian, Toynbee, who said that ‘those who fail to learn lessons from history are bound to repeat the past mistakes’.

The Karen people at home and abroad must have seen and learnt from the media that on January 12, 2012, the KNU delegation led by some members of the KNU Committee for Emergence of Peace met in Pa-an town with the delegation representing President Thein Sein to talk at the State level and the Union level, and signed two preliminary agreements. The agreements were small initial steps in the march towards ceasefire, internal peace, national reconciliation, amendment of the 2008 constitution and establishment of a genuine union. We still have to take thousands of steps more. The success depends very much on broadmindedness of U Thein Sein government and the irreversible achievement made in the march to democracy by it. I would like to remind you all to maintain a critical mind and hope for the best without suspicion and desire to revenge, and at the same time be prepared for the worst.

The release of a considerable number of political prisoners on January 13 delighted us, but the detention still of those, who should be free, makes us quite unhappy. In one mind with the entire people, we call on U Thein Sein government to release again political prisoners to the last man, unconditionally.

Though the Karen revolution has been going on for 63 years, we still must struggle on, as we still have not achieved the goal desired by the entire Karen people, which is a Karen country with freedom, peace and self-determination.
 
For that reason and in conclusion, I would like to urge the Karen people and members of the Karen National Liberation Army to continue fighting on all sides, under the guidance of the KNU, with firm courage and correct patriotic spirit and in accordance with the Four Principles of Saw Ba U Gyi to overcome the unjust oppression and attacks and this, being the duty of the entire nation, to join hands with fellow oppressed ethnic nationalities and the democratic forces until the dictatorship of the military clique is terminated.

January 31, 2012


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