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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.

KNU President Gen. Saw Tamla Baw’s Address on 64th Anniversary of KNU Day

05 Feb 2011

Dear All the KNU Members and the Entire Karen Nationals,
Officers and Men of the Karen Armed Forces,

Today, February 5, 2011, is the 64th Anniversary of the KNU Day. It is a joyful occasion for all of us to have the opportunity to welcome such a special and honored day, and I wish the entire Karen people to be healthy and prosperous.

We, the Karen people, had demanded peacefully a land, freedom and autonomy from the ruling government, in order to live with all the distinctiveness befitting a people. So as to have unity of thought and a unified voice in demanding freedom, our Karen leaders formed the Karen National Union on February 5, 1947 in Rangoon, by holding a conference and merging the Karen National Association (KNA), Buddhist Karen National Association (BKNA), Karen Central Organization (KCO) and Karen Youth Organization (KYO), which were the organizations active in the movement for the Karen people’s rights. For that reason, we honor and recognize the day on which the KNU was formed.

Though we, the KNU, have struggled for many years, leading politically for liberation of the Karen people from persecution, and gaining a free land (state) for them to live in, we have not yet arrived at our political goal. In our movement for liberation from persecution, the KNU leaders, fellow comrades and the people have to face the enemy’s harassment and repression by various means, but our organization remains strong and steady, because the political principles and policies we have laid down are correct and the leadership stands firmly by them.

Our political doctrine is national democracy and we are working for the progress of our nationality and the promotion of the democratic system. We are cooperating with the other ethnic nationality and democratic forces to gain the rights of equality and self-determination for the ethnic nationalities, and democratic rights for the entire people, in the country. The political goal of our organization is to gain the rights of equality and self-determination for all the ethnic nationalities and establishment a democratic federal union.

For the resolution of the political problems of Burma, we support the tripartite dialogue, called for by the UN Resolution and in which the military clique, the democratic forces and the ethnic nationality forces are to participate. The NLD’s acceptance now of establishment of a genuine federal union, for the rights of equality and self-determination of all the ethnic nationalities, coincides exactly with our political goal. It is endeavoring
also for the emergence of a conference of all the nationalities, similar to Panglong Conference. It is a positive development and progress in our political field.

We are urging the ethnic nationality organizations to work for a unified voice of all the ethnic nationalities, if there is to be a tripartite dialogue. At the same time, we are cooperating with the democratic forces for mutual understanding and unity, and for the peace and prosperity of the entire people. However, the SPDC military clique has not accepted absolutely our demands for national reconciliation. Instead of dialogue and negotiation, it has been launching violent attacks against us. For that reason, for the elimination military dictatorship, all the ethnic nationalities, the democratic forces and all the revolutionary forces must struggle on together with unity.

In closing, I would like to urge all the KNU members, the Karen armed forces members and the entire Karen people to arm themselves with the patriotic spirit of 1949 and struggle on with unity, until our political goal of the establishment of a genuine democratic federal union, which guarantees equality, self-determination and democratic rights, is achieved.


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Karen National Union