About KNU’s Aims, Policy and Programme
( S.H.A.N. & Burma’s News Published by Burma’s Chinese 貌强 )
The Karens left the source of the Jiang Tse river and the Mongol Gobi Desert and entered Burma 2744 ago.They are the first major nationality settling in the delta and mountainous regions of the South-Burma. They are mainly paddy producers,forest farmers, hunters, some are nomadic and some mountain tribes.In nature they are honest,open-minded and brave, keep fit,work hard and love the nature.They have a population of about 7 million and possess own language,culture,tradition and the native land Kawthoolei . They live in harmony with all other nationalities including the Burma’s Chinese.Burma's Chinese have many Karen relatives.
As the military regime is propagating,both nationally and internationally, that the Karens are Union dissociaters,love killing,burning,robbing and terrorism. These are so far beyond my understanding and experiences since a child, so I visited the KNU leaders and had a cordial and streight to the point discussion with them as follows:
Burma’s Chinese: Why you KNU insists on the right of national equality and right to self-determination?
KNU: We Karens descend from the same ancestors as the Mongolian people. We left our Htee-Hset Met Ywa (Land of Flowing Sands), a land bordering the source of the Yang-tse-Kiang river in the Gobi Desert about 2744 years ago， entered and settled down in the land now known as Burma. As the first settlers in this new land, at first we named it “ Kaw-Lah”, meaning the Green Land. We cleared and tilled this Green Landfrom all hindrances and then renamed it “Kawthoolei”, meaning a pleasant, plentiful and peaceful country.
Later came the Mons and the Burman with their feudalism. In short, the Burman later won the feudal war and subdued and subjugated all other nationalities in the land. We Karens suffered untold miseries and atrocities almost the same as the Thais at Ayudhaya （Thailand) at the hands of the Burman lords. We Karens had to flee for our lives to high mountains and thick jungles, becoming the backward hill and jungle tribes. The rest of us were made slaves.
When the British colonized Burma, all nationalities became the colonialslaves including the Burmans. We Karens could come down the mountains, outof the jungles and be educated. It could be said that we Karens had abreathing spell during the period of the British Regime.
But during the Second World War, in 1942, the Fascist Japanese invaded Burma with the help of the Burma Independence Army (BIA), who led them into the country. These BIA troops took full advantage of the situation byinsinuating that we Karens were spies and puppets of the British, andtherefore were enemies of the Japanese and the Burmans. With the help of theJapanese, they tried to wipe out the Karen populace which closely resembledthe genocidal scheme Hitler was enacting against the Jews in Germany.
By the postwar Burma Independence Negotiations with the British, there was noKaren representative in the Burma’s delegations and no Karen opinion wassought. On January 4, 1948, Burma got its independence from the British.The Burmese government used our KNDO (Karen National Defence Organization,officially recognized by the Burmese Government) to defend the CapitalRangoon and fight against the Burmese communists and those Burmese armies that revolted. Unbelievably, in December the Burmese Government united allBurmese Chauvinists/Ultra nationalists and uprising Burman rebel groups to attack our Karen villages and our KNDO and arrest many of our Karen leaders.
All these bitter experiences have taught us one life- and- death lessonthat we Karens need the right of national equality and right toself-determination in order to fight for our very existence and survival.
Burma’s Chinese： The military regime says that you are the narrow-mindednationalist, you fight only for the interest of your Karen nationality. Is it true ?
KNU: This is the long-term twisted propaganda of the Burmese Chauvinist and Burmese ultra-nationalists. We Karens have laid down as early as 1956 the following resolution: “ We pursue the policy of national democracy and equality, we want to liberate all the Karens and establish a genuine federal union of states, including a Karen State with the right to self-determination. All nationalities, including the Burmans, have the right to establish their respective states with right to self-determination”.
After the Burman pro-democracy mass revolt was suppressed in 1988 and several thousands of people were killed by the military regime, thousands and thousands of students, monks and dissidents fled to the liberated areas of our KNU and our NDF (the National Democratic Front). We non-Burmans have welcome them warmly like brothers. We have enlarged our NDF to become the Democratic Alliance of Burma DAB including Burman organizations such as the All Burma Students’Democratic Front (ABSDF) and the All Burma Young Monks Union (ABYMU) etc. It is the first revolutionary united struggle of the Burmans and the non-Burmans for the national democracy and for the genuine federal union of Burma.
BC：The military regime says that you are the splittist, you want to dissociate the Union of Burma.
KNU: The Burmese Chauvinists/ultra-nationalists has distorted the reality in such ways since 1948. It is “a thief crying ‘stop thief!’ ”. We KNU has demanded since 1956 the establishment of a genuine Federal Union, in which all the states enjoy the equal right and the right to self determination .The generals of the successive military regimes are Burmese Chauvinists/ultra-nationalists, dictators and butchers. They keep on saying “consolidation of the nationalities and Union”, but the Union Constitution drawn by ethnic nationalities and U Nu, successor of General Aung San, was ruthlessly abolished by the Ne Win military regime in 1962. It is they that have broken up the constituted Union of Burma. The military junta has launched and been intensifying the civil war since 1962. The junta practices the Four Cuts Operations: cutting off the revolutionaries’ lines of food supply, information, revenue and contact with the masses. In fact it is a genocidal war! It is a crime against humanity! So all non-Burman nationalities call the Burmese Fascist the cheater, the tyrant and the criminal of all manner of crimes.
BC: Burma is the kingdom of narcotics. What is your drug policy?
KNU: We never permit the growing or refining of opium or the sales andtransport of illicit drugs through our territory. NEVER!
BC: Could you tell us your stand points on democracy, religion, privatesystem and foreign investment?
KNU: We oppose only the Burman Chauvinists/ultra-nationalists that have been practicing annihilation, absorption and assimilation (3 A) against the non-Burmans and they are still doing so today. We do not oppose the good Burmans.
Ou policy is National Democracy and Equality. We fully recognize free market economy and encourage private ownership and welcome foreign investment. All the people will enjoy democratic rights, politically, economically, socially and culturally. Freedom and equality of all religions is guaranteed. We desire the extent of Kawthoolei to be the areas where we Karens are in majority. (There will also be ethnically mixed states where no one ethnic nationality group forms an overwhelming majority). We are willing to maintain cordial relationships with all other states and other countries on the basis of mutual respect, peace and prosperity.
We are willing to govern and do in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State and justness in the eyes of the country and the world. Our goal is to serve the people.
As the Burma’s Chinese, our Swe Myo Paut Hpao, you are requested kindly totranslate into Chinese our Aims, Policies and Programs laid down by our second Karen National Union (KNU) congress.
Let the Chinese people in Mainland China and all over the world know uscorrectly.
MC： OK！With great honour.