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 Tamlabaw on Karen New Year Day of 2750

24 Dec 2010


Dear All Karen Nationals,

Day one of Pyatho Waxing Moon 2750 Karen Era (KE), which falls on January 5, 2011, is New Year Day of the Karen people. The opportunity for us to welcome such a singular and gracious day means that we are to receive happiness and various kinds of blessings. On this New Year Day, I would like to wish all the Karen people living inside the country, abroad and in the border areas to be full of bodily strength, high morale and to be able to enter the field of work with high spirit and full energy in the New Year!

The Karen people are one of the major ethnic nationalities in the country, but as they do not have freedom and rights befitting a nationality, many have gone to different parts of the world, and those remaining in the country, far from having guarantee to the security of life and property, have to live constantly in fear and anxiety.

We the Karen people, since the days of our forefathers, have been deprived of the right to our native regions and lands, by force. Though the KNU has struggled for liberation of the Karen people from persecution and for existence as a free people, it is still in the mode of liberation struggle.

In liberation movement in the past, due to weakness in unity and cooperation, victory had been beyond our reach and so we have to struggle on. In this New Year, it is necessary for every Karen to be involved in building up unity and cooperation, at every level of our national liberation movement. Unity of the Karen people is a vital element in national liberation movement. Every Karen has the responsibility for liberation of the Karen people from persecution and for their development, and cooperation of the entire Karen people is especially necessary.  I would like to remind all of you to work with discretion so as not to let our unity and our beliefs to become divided among ourselves, as a result the enemy’s machination.

For that reason, Karen national unity is one of the vital elements for victory of the Karen national revolutionary resistance. It is especially necessary for all of us to work with unity and with one mind in order to achieve the national goal of the Karen people, in this New Year.

Similarly, it is necessary to cooperate with unity with the other fellow persecuted nationalities living together in the country, as they also are still in the mode of national liberation movement. Since every nationality has the right to live in freedom and self-determination, all of us must strive on.

It is necessary for every Karen, living in different parts of the world, to uphold the Karen people’s cultural heritage and language, and hand them down to posterity so that the Karen people may not become extinct.

Accordingly, I would like to urge, in conclusion, all the Karen nationals to work with unity and in cooperation in this year of 2750, until the Karen people gain the right to live in freedom as a nationality, while resisting the enemy endangering our Karen people.

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