Karen unity needed like never before
Karen people from inside Burma, along the border and from overseas were elated by the resolutions passed and approved by the 14th Congress of the Karen National Union. The Congress finished on 20th October with representatives vowing to uphold the Four Principles of Saw Ba U Gyi.
Representatives from Karen organizations based in the US, Canada and Australia attended as did 131 delegates from KNU central headquarters and the various districts. Other morale boosting resolutions that were passed were: to work closely with other nationalities, to achieve their [Karen] political objectives of equality and self-determination for the Karen people and to work for a “genuine federal union”.
The KNU damned the Burmese military regime for its crimes against the people when it brutally smashed monks and civilians of the streets. The KNU also called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic leaders.
The 14th Congress resolutions cemented the KNU’s position as serious political opposition to the regime. But as usual, except for a few “that’s interesting” from embassy staff, the international community will largely ignore the Karen’s political struggle.
It hasn’t helped that in recent years, Karen renegade factions, more interested in profiteering than helping Karen, have weakened the KNU’s political positions. These factions have only been to the benefit of the regime and a few greedy individuals.
If only, these self-serving bandits applied their power, battlefield manpower and energy to a disciplined response to the Burmese military, instead of directing it at unarmed Karen villagers, the result would be vastly different.