KNU to Observe One-Day Ceasefire on International Day of Peace
1. In 2001 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 55/282 designating September 21 as International Day of Peace.
2. The Karen National Union (KNU), established on democratic principles, has been struggling for peace, democracy and human rights, equality, self-determination and freedom for the entire Karen people.
3. To demonstrate our commitment to peace, and respect for the United Nations, the KNU will observe a unilateral one-day ceasefire on 21st September 2011.
4. This is the second successive year we have called such a ceasefire. Last year the SPDC did not reciprocate.
5. We, the KNU, hereby call on President Thein Sein to also order his Army to cease all military activities on the International Day of Peace.
6. At the same time, we would like to let President Thein Sein know that while we will respect the International Day of Peace, we reserve the right to defend ourselves and our people. In case of military offensives by Burmese Army or their allies in the KNU areas on this day, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) would defend the people with appropriate force.
7. The KNU has been in armed resistance in order to protect the lives and properties of the Karen and other peoples. It is an organization struggling for the rights to equality, unity, peace, maintenance of culture and customs of all the ethnic nationalities in the country, and establishment of a future federal union.
8. We, the KNU, would like to urge President Thein Sein to cease all offensive actions in the Karen State and KNU areas, and withdraw all its troops from all ethnic states, which would be a major step towards resolving the political problems and armed conflict.
9. It is time that the dictatorship stopped all human rights violations such as planned, widespread and systematic unlawful killings, forced labor, looting, destruction of homes and villages, farms, livelihood of the people etc. including the rape of women, as these violations are in contravention of the Geneva Conventions and Rome Statute.
10. We urge Thein Sein to stop suppression of rights of the Karen people to promote their culture, literature and traditions, the rights to freedom of worship and all forms of discrimination against the Karen people, under its rule.
11. We request the UN authorities concerned to cooperate with us to stop the Burma Army from recruiting children for its armed forces and, to help and support child soldiers who have escaped from the Burma Army, for the security of their future.
12. In declaring this one-day ceasefire, the KNU is demonstrating its willingness to solve problems through peaceful political means. We respect the repeated requests of the United Nations Security Council, United Nations General Assembly, and United Nations Secretary General, that there must be dialogue to solve the problems in Burma. We stand ready to enter into genuine dialogue at any time.
13. In conclusion, we earnestly urge the UN Security Council to persuade President Thein Sein to order a nationwide ceasefire, and engage in tripartite dialogue for the emergence of human rights and democracy, and a genuine federal union for lasting peace and security.
15 September 2011
The Central Executive Committee
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