Yindee Lertcharoenchok, New Karen Leadership Targets Talks with SLORC
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Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 04:54:27 GMT
Reply-To: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.cs.missouri.edu>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.cs.missouri.edu>
Organization: PACH
Subject: Burmanet News September 4, 1995
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>

/** headlines: 113.0 **/
** Topic: Burmanet News September 4, 1995 **
** Written 8:58 AM Sep 5, 1995 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
From: IGC News Desk <newsdesk>

/* Written 6:56 PM Sep 3, 1995 by burmanet in igc:reg.burma */
/* ---------- "Burmanet News September 4, 1995" ---------- */
From: BurmaNet <burmanet>

New Karen Leadership Targets Talks with SLORC

By Yindee Lertcharoenchok, in BurmaNet News, Issue #215
4 September 1995

September 3, 1995

KAREN guerrilla forces ended their long-awaited congress on Friday with the election of a new leadership under Gen Bo Mya to guide the embattled ethnic group towards peace-negotiations with Burma's military junta.

Sixth Brigade Commander Gen Shwe Saing, who had been expected to succeed Bo Mya as president of the Karen National Union (KNU), was elected his deputy, while Gen Oliver remains as KNU Fourth Brigade commander.

Saw Ba Thin retains his position as general secretary, while Bo Mya's personal secretary, Mahn Sar Lar Pan, was elected first joint general secretary. Tu Tu Lay, former head of the justice department, was elected second joint general secretary.

Gen Tamalabaw, who replaced Bo Mya as chief of staff after the KNU lost its headquarters early this year, was re-elected to the position.

In an interview late on Friday night, Arthur Shwe, the new head of the foreign affairs department, said the Karen Congress had elected a new 55-member Standing Committee, 35 of whom are Central Committee members. The other 20 young leaders are candidates for the Central Committee.

Eleven Standing Committee members were elected to form a Central Executive Committee to carry out day-to-day work.

He said the KNU had scrapped its Cabinet system but retained a party leadership as the group is running short of personnel to take care of daily operational activities.

According to a KNU press statement, the 11th Karen Congress which ran from Aug 21-31 was attended by 106 KNU representatives and 79 observers from civil and military establishments from all the provinces in Burma's southeastern Karen state.

The statement said the group would "continue to uphold its stand of endeavouring for dialogue between the KNU and Slorc towards the establishment of genuine and lasting peace in the country."

Slorc stands for the State Law and Order Restoration Council, which seized power in a bloody coup in September 1988.

Shwe rejected as rumours press reports that Bo Mya would this month lead a KNU delegation to sign a ceasefire agreement with the Slorc in Pa-an. He said neither side has initiated any talks although the ethnic group appointed a five-member negotiation team about two years ago.

The foreign affairs chief said he believed the rumours were spread by the Slorc, which has no genuine desire to hold talks with the KNU now that the group has been weakened by its loss of strongholds.

Although the Burmese army has not launched any offensives against other KNU bases for the time being, Shwe said the group must still wait until after the monsoon season to see whether Slorc wants to open any dialogues.

Shwe said he had heard that the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army had handed over Padoh Mahn Yin Sein, a senior civilian KNU leader who was kidnapped in February from a Thai refugee village in northern Mae Sot district, to the Slorc and recommended that he be sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for his refusal to join the group.

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