KNU Statement on Peace Talks
Recent media reports that the Karen National Union (KNU) had agreed to a ceasefire with the Burmese regime, along with several other ethnic organizations, was false. The KNU team of 3 representatives had had just an informal meeting with the regime’s Railway Transport Minister, U Aung Min, to sound out the regime’s position on ceasefire and to explain the position of the KNU on the same matter.
Following the current political circumstances, the KNU held an emergency meeting of the Central Committee from the 8th to the 11th of November and discussed the Burmese regime’s overture for ceasefire and peace talks. The KNU leaders attending the meeting decided that political negotiations were best suited to the current political circumstances. The KNU therefore formed a ‘committee for the emergence of peace’ with the mandate to lead the whole process of talks.
This committee is to select a delegation for talks as necessary, plan for and oversee the whole process, analyze the developments and coordinate the whole negotiation process for appropriate achievement of the objectives. The committee is comprised of seven members, as follows.
1. Saw David Tharckabaw – Vice President of KNU, (Head of the committee);
2. Naw Zipporah Sein – General Secretary of KNU, (Committee member);
3. General Mutu Say Poe – General Officer Commanding of KNLA, (Deputy Head of the committee);
4. Padoh Roger Khin – Head of Health and Welfare Department cum KNU CC member, (Committee member);
5. Padoh Ah Toe – Head of Forestry Department cum KNU CC member, (Committee member);
6. Padoh David Taw – Head of Judiciary Department cum KNU CC member, (Secretary of the committee); and
7. Padoh Aung Maw Aye – Chairman of Pa-an District cum CC member, (Committee member).
The committee has yet to discuss further for official communications and talks for ceasefire. Although individual ethnic organizations will organize for informal and preliminary meetings with representatives of the Burmese regime, the political solutions shall be discussed and sought through collective effort and representation of the ethnic nationalities. Cooperation with our ethnic alliances, including the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and National Democratic Front (NDF) on political and military affairs, exists as ever.
Although KNU is willing to resolve the political problems through negotiations, it is dependent on the seriousness and willingness of the Burmese regime to resolve the political problems correctly based on productive and genuine political dialogue and progress.
The KNU will uphold the Four Principles of Saw Ba U Gyi and maintain its policies and programs laid down by the 14th KNU Congress. The KNU is also determined to stand firmly and speak for the entire Karen nation.
November 24, 2011
Karen National Union
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