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 the democratic principles, has been struggling for peace, democracy and human rights, equality, self-determination and freedom of 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 September 21st.
4. We, the KNU, hereby call on the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military clique to also cease all military activities on the International Day of Peace.
5. At the same time, we would like to let the SPDC know that while we will respect the International Day of Peace, we reserve the right to defend ourselves and our people. In case of launching military offensives by SPDC in the KNU areas on this day, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) would defend the people with great force.
6. 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.
7. We, the KNU, would like to urge the SPDC military clique to cease all offensive actions in the Karen State and KNU areas, and withdraw all its troops which would be a major step towards resolving the political problems and armed conflict.
8. It is time the SPDC military clique 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.
9. We urge the SPDC military clique 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.
10. We request the UN authorities concerned to cooperate with us to stop the SPDC from recruiting children for its armed forces and, to help and support child soldiers who have escaped from the SPDC armed forces, for the security of their future.
11. 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, United Nations Secretary General, and the statement by the G8 in June, that there must be dialogue to solve the problems in Burma. We stand ready to enter into genuine dialogue at any time.
12. In conclusion, we earnestly urge the UN Security Council to pressure the SPDC military clique for a nationwide ceasefire, tripartite dialogue and the emergence of human rights and democracy.
15 September 2010
The Executive Committee
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