Roads to our Karen’s independence
Saw Eh Ta Mu Htoo
Karen people was the very first group that entered the land called Greenland which is now; Myanmar since before any other ethnic groups were there. There were two groups of Karen that entered the land in two separate times; BC 1125 and 739 BC then the Karen calendar was started to count in BC739. It has been 2759 years in the land of Burma but only 200 years Karen had peacefully lived their lives. But after the other ethnics came they started to oppress, persecute, and kill Karen, we were oppressed, persecuted and killed from time to times; by Mon and later Burmese until now. But in 19th century under British reigned in Burma, Karen people started to active politically, and Karen became very strong in everything but when the British left, Burmese started to take control the entire land by deceiving all the other ethnics including the Karen. Burmese started to apply dictatorship and started to Burmanize every ethnics in the country. Karen is the very first group who started to fight for the independence after British left for a year till now still actively struggling for the Independence under the brutal dictatorship of Burmese government and military. There has been more than seventy years but still struggling for the independence nation of Kawthoolei. We don’t want Burmese to rule us, oppress and kill us anymore. We are a unique nation, we have our own literature, cultures, languages, tribes and we are qualified enough to stand as an independent nation. But the ethnic which selfishly wanted to rule the entire land and Burmanize every ethnics in Burma keep stopping us from our struggle ever since. And as possible as we can, we, the Karen also struggle for our independence and stand as a nation. To be an independent nation is the main hope of all the Karen all over the world. But seems like our independence is still far from us because we ourselves are not united as our early revolutionary, instead there caused more divisions among us. But according to our former respected president Saw Ba U Gyi, there are three ways for the Karen to gain their independence and stand as nation on this earth. Karen will gain their independence through; (1) Armed struggle, (2) Political dialogue and negotiation settlement, and (3) International intervention and arrangement on the Karen people’s behalf.
Armed struggle; is full of bloodshed and it causes poverty for the people and mostly the people are victimized. Lives have no value and several of civilians died for no reason. But we know that freedom is not free and we have to fight for it. Likewise, the Burmese government also didn’t freely want to let us and they said we had to fight for it. That’s why we, the Karen started armed struggle for the freedom and our self-determination in 1949. There was no other choice except from that. Though our former president Saw Ba U Gyi knew that this way will lead the ethnics into severe bloodshed and between Karen and Burmese and he tried to negotiate but the Burmese government refused. And Karen started armed struggle and our early armed struggle was very successful and we almost conquered the entire land called Burma, it was only seven miles remained. To gain the independence through arm struggle, we have to use attacking method for our lands and places are controlled by the brutal dictators of Burma. Anyhow, if we can not drive them out off our land, they will always be making troubles until they Burmanize us all. Comparing from our early armed struggle we were too close to our independence; Kawthoolei. Because that time, we the Karen are only in one group; under one order, one objective, and we worked in unity to drive out the governments who wanted to Burmanize the Karen and other ethnics in Burma. But now the enemy has jumped in among us by dividing us into groups and some Karen became traitors. Our armed struggle for our independence is getting far when there are many traitors among us. Therefore, our Karen history has incisively showed us the clear picture of how we didn’t achieve our independence through armed struggle; for there were some traitors among us from time to time and we were not emphatic toward our enemy too and we were too easy to trust our enemy. With a very narrow minded some leaders who want to exchange peace with our weapons, and this way our soldiers, leaders, and people who shed their bloods and who sacrificed their lives for the independence died meaninglessly. And if some of our leaders still keep on working to go under the Burmese reign through negotiating but without mutual satisfaction, what our soldiers, leaders and people who sacrificed their lives more than seven decades died in vain. With what our leaders are doing now we haven’t see any possibilities to gain our independence through this way yet.
Political dialogue and negotiated settlement withe the Burmese government; This is the very best way of solving the conflict on the table without bloodshed and any crimes against humanity. Our former respected hero Saw Ba U Kyi foresaw what would happen if we fought; bloodshed, hatred of both sides and the consequences will be very bad that’s why before the war started, he went to talk to the Burmese governments but Burmese government refused Karen’s petition and the negotiation. And when the war broke out between Karen and Burman our leaders were still trying to negotiate and chose peace instead of war. But peace talk was just giving a chance for the enemy to prepare and beat us only. From time to time, our political dialogue with our enemy has no benefit for Karen people. Though we try to negotiate, it just a temporary cease fire during peace talk. Why our political dialogue with our enemy has no benefit for us, because whenever our leaders go to talk with the Burmese governments they never accept our petition and only one thing they have been kept saying to our leaders is to surrender and come to work under them. Though our leaders were trying to have political dialogue with the enemy in order to build peace among the ethnics and build up federation but nothing was changed. It takes almost a decade for peace talk but our enemy just rebuild their new army camps in Karen state and send more soldiers, weapons and even spread drugs among us by working with some Karen traitors. Though our politicians have been struggling a lot to negotiate with the enemy but they just keep saying to us to surrender. So, our respected hero’s prophecy about Karen’s independence through political dialogue and negotiation settlement with our enemy will never work because Burma will always remain a dictatorship though the government keep shouting of democracy. The Myanmar army chief will always be controlling and use the governments as the cover page to hide what they are doing.
International intervention and arrangement on the Karen people’s behalf; At first, we would like to thank all the countries those that have been helping us; the Karen during our independence struggle within 71st years and more through health cares, foods, shelters, education and all the supplies we need. Unlike the other ethnics in Myanmar, our background is only Karen. We fought our battles with what we have. Not even a single country helped us or fought with us. Through armed struggle, and political dialogue we stood alone with what we had have until now. Though with empty handed we fight our battles, we wrote our history and we will never give up and we will not follow our leaders who want the heartless government who pretend to be a good people rule us. We have been struggling in order to stand as a nation; an independence nation more than seven decades and even the Burmese government declared to the world that we were the rebels who were creating troubles in the land but the world came to its senses and began to recognize us as we are freedom fighters.
On the other hands, other nations cannot help us while there are too many arm groups among us; fighting against each other,and each groups claim themselves as freedom fighter for the people. For example, we have BGF, KNLA PC, Two groups of DKBA and our main Karen National Union, are all fighting against each other. Actually, we are psychologically sick but we don’t know ourselves. Some politicians want to do business and some businessman play the role of politicians. We confuse ourselves and do not realize our faults. Likewise, even though some Karen are wholeheartedly trying for our independence; passionately appeared in front of the white house to seek help from the super power nations but some are comfortably live their lives, cleaning their hands and looking from a distance like they are not of us. Among us, there are even some Karen who innocently support Burmese government. Other will not willing to help us while we are fighting against each and claim ourselves as we are right. With poor minded like this, how will it be possible for the world to help us. To gain independence through this way is not easy because other countries also have their own problems and on the other hand, we need to work very hard to reunite all the arm groups among us and break all the boundaries among Karen people instead of keep hoping from other to help us. We should not be too dependent when we are fighting for our independence.
We have been trying many ways to be independent from Burma but they have been imprisoning our Karen activists and silencing us but they could not stop us from our main objective. They “buried us but we are the seeds”, they tried to drive us out of the land but we are now in the whole world spreading all over and shining. They thought that we are the sheep but our hearts are lions.We failed to gain our independence by armed struggle but we are not lost, our political dialogue with the enemy is not succeed but doesn’t mean we are not qualify enough and the world fail to help us, but we should not waste our times blaming around for the world have been helping us. We are the capable people, and we are able to do it. We have been working hard for our independence but not good enough so from now on, time for us to work smarter. It is a good time now, it is the right time for us to shine and drive out the darkness among us and reunite again. Karen in Burma, Kawthoolei, Asia, USA, middle East, Australia and all over the world are not the animal, we are a nation which is full of dignity. Once, Israelite scattered all around, they were killed, persecuted and enslaved but now they stand as one of the strongest nation on this earth. But we, Karen are scattering all over the world, but living our lives like other human with full of dignity so, why can’t we stand as a nation! Let’s free ourselves from fear and live as a nation. Myanmar military may seem very powerful but powerful will not always win. Bees are small insects but they dare to bite an elephant, though elephant is a powerful animal but can not do anything to the bees. Our unity is our most powerful weapon that frighten the enemy. We have tried to gain our independence through armed struggle, through political dialogue and negotiation and we also have tried to appear to the world to help us but all those struggles are still in the process without knowing when it is going to end and how it is going to end.
Though our armed struggle not yet succeeded, our political dialogue and negotiation with our enemy also have never coming to an end with mutual satisfaction, likewise, we should not have too high expectation from other. What can we do for our freedom! Nobody can guarantee about our freedom, but we are going to reunite and drive out the darkness among us, we will pick up arms to defence ourselves, and we are going to drive out our enemy from our land and stand as a independent nation. If all the Karen are strong enough, passion enough toward our freedom, who can stop us! Let’s all the Karen come together, reunite with one objective, under one order, we shall definitely gain our freedom. Let’s do the best we can and together let’s move toward our dream that one day we will stand as a nation; Kawthoolei. Let’s fight for it, take it and stand; in an independence nation of Kawthoolei.