KNU to Attend Karen New Year’s Celebrations in Rangoon

KNU Chairman Mutu Say Poe (third from left) stands next to President Thein Sein in this group photo taken in Naypyidaw on Jan. 5, 2013. Mahn Nyein Maung is the first person on the left.(Photo: The President’s Office website)

RANGOON — For the first time in six decades, representatives of the Karen National Union (KNU) will attend Karen New Year’s celebrations in Rangoon, according to a senior member of the ethnic armed group.

“Padoh Saw Thamein Tun and I will attend the ceremony as official representatives of the KNU,” said Mahn Nyein Maung, an executive member of the KNU’s central committee who was part of a delegation that has just concluded a visit to Naypyidaw at the invitation of President Thein Sein.

While the rest of the delegation has returned to the Thai-Burmese border, the two representatives have stayed behind to attend the event, which will be held in Burma’s largest city on Jan. 12.

Although the attendance of the KNU representatives has been confirmed, it remains unclear if they will give a speech, as they have not been officially invited by the event’s organizing committee as guests of honor.

Mahn Shwe Pyi Aye, a spokesperson for the organizing committee, said, however, that members of the KNU are more than welcome to take part in the celebrations, even though the group is still technically regarded as an illegal organization.

Also uncertain is whether a display of photographs of Karen revolutionary leaders, including Saw Ba U Gyi, founder and first president of the KNU, will be allowed at the ceremony, which will be held in Rangoon for the 75th time this year.

“Although the KNU is engaging in peace talks with the government, we are still not sure if it’s all right to exhibit these photos and show this history,” said Mahn Shwe Pyi Aye.

5 Responses to KNU to Attend Karen New Year’s Celebrations in Rangoon

  1. Starting with Aung San Suu Kyi, Treachery is the norm of the day.
    KNU of today is not worthy of even mentioning the likes of Saw Ba Oo Gyi or Padho Mann Shar.

    After total surrender and money and business splitting abandoning the Karen public and Kachin in trouble, they can very well do whatever they want, no longer news any more.

  2. Too many clowns. What kind of leadership these idiots can render to the Union?

  3. I hope these KNU leaders participate and dance Dung-ying with Kayin youths in Khaweichan where we all enjoyed watching them at their new year celebration in the good old days. I wish I can join them there too. Burma can be the best place when people are free from needless rules and restrictions. I love and adore Kayin people and their beautiful tradition. God bless Kayins.

  4. Dear KNU leader please be care on your working and nagotiation

  5. Dear KNU peace teams Hope all you will have a save trip and happy new year to you all

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