Mon 25 Feb 2013
Filed under: Ethnic Issues,Inside Burma,Military,News
The Karen National Union (KNU) has requested that Naypyitaw send high-ranking military officers to future talks as part of the peace process between the two sides, according to a report by Karen News.
Gen. Mutu Say Poe, the newly elected chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU), speaks to government officials and KNU delegates at a formal dinner in the Royal Kumudra Hotel in Naypyitaw on Saturday, January 5, 2013. (Photo: Mizzima) An informal meeting was held on February 21 at the Thai-Myanmar border town of Myawaddy where KNU chairman Gen. Saw Mutu Say Poe met with Myanmar Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham.
According to Karen News reporter Saw Eh Na, the vice-presidential delegation inspected the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and the Myawaddy border trading zone.
However, “KNU leaders repeated their position to the government delegation that the KNU would only carry out development projects … after reaching a concrete ceasefire agreement,” said the report.
“The KNU urged the government ministers to include more high-ranking Tatmadaw [Burma Army] leaders in any future talks,” Saw Eh Na said.
In a subsequent article in Karen News on February 23, reporter Saw Khar Su Nyar quoted KNU source Saw John as saying that only when there is an effective ceasefire in place can both sides “move forward to the development project stage [for Karen State].”
The KNU and the Myanmar government reached a preliminary ceasefire in January 2012.