KNU President Saw Tamla Baw’s Message on 63rd Anniversary of Karen National Day
All Respected Sons and Daughters of the Karen people,
KNU Members, Officers and Men of the KNLA,
Today, February 11, 2011 is the 63rd Anniversary of Karen National Day. On this dignified day, I would like to wish the entire Karen people and the people of Burma to have cheerfulness of mind and body!
February 11, 1948 has been a great and august day in the annals of history of the Karen national movement. This day has been an important day for us, because on this day the Karen people held a silent demonstration to demand peacefully and unanimously the rights to peace, equality and democracy, the rights of which they had been deprived.
Four hundred thousand Karen all over the country took part in the demonstration and made demands for a homeland, peace, harmony and equality, which were written on the placards born by the demonstrators. They may be translated literally as follows.
(1) Give Karen State at Once; (2) Show Karen One Kyat Burman One Kyat at once;
(3) We Don’t Want Racial Strife; (4) We Don’t Want Civil War.
The silent and peaceful march of the demonstrators verified, in accordance with democratic practices, the characteristics of the Karen people’s love for justice, peace and their abhorrence of racial strife and armed conflict.
However, the successive rulers have not only rejected the Karen people’s demands but have started the fire of civil war also and have been stoking it, until today. The successive rulers – the AFPFL, BSPP, SLORC and SPDC – have no desire to resolve the country’s political problems politically and have been ruling the ethnic nationalities and the people of Burma oppressively.
The USDP, which has won in the election fraudulently, is for the perpetuation of the SPDC military dictatorship and for ruling the ethnic nationalities and the people of Burma oppressively. For the perpetuation of the military dictatorship by expanding the armed forces, the SPDC military regime is intending to include in the Constitution a provision requiring all those who have attained the age of 18 to serve in the armed forces, during the term of the upcoming government. Anyone dodging the draft will have to serve a 5-year prison sentence. This act is a new step by the SPDC and its main aim is to be able to terrorize and dominate the ethnic nationalities.
Accordingly, all of us must join hands together and struggle on unwaveringly according to the political program laid down by the KNU until we attain our goal, in order to be able to live in the democratic federal union, guaranteeing the rights to peace, equality and self-determination of the ethnic nationalities, demanded by the Karen people.
Remembering the Day on which the Karen people had shown their unity, the entire Karen people must march on, with one mind and complete unity, under the Karen national flag and in accordance with the political program, the KNU has laid down.
The unity of the Karen people is the main driving force for the entire Karen people to reach the goal. As the movement of the Karen people is correct, we will arrive inevitably at our goal. In conclusion, I would like to urge all of you to work together with fellow ethnic nationalities and the democratic forces for liberation of all the ethnic nationalities and the entire people from the rule of the military dictatorship, for the rights of the ethnic nationalities to decide their own destiny, to self-determination and for the emergence of democracy in Burma.
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