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The Karen Revolution and Political Views



Nan Khin Win

Burma is one of the ill-fated countries that has been facing with the longest civil war in the world for solving multi-ethnic armed conflicts. Even though that has been passing over 70 years long, the problem doesn’t end and the peace doesn’t not come for our people yet. So if we have to mention about the ethnic groups in armed organization, the KNU is such one of the strongest ethnic armed groups involved into Burma politic. Even after the Communist Party collapsed with couldn’t acquire the expected destiny, the KNU is still remaining as the political skillful organization among the Ethnics in order to continue the Karen revolution and struggling for freedom and peace in Burma History. And, attempting with the three strategies of Armed Struggling, Political dialogue and a negotiated settlement with the Burmese Government and International Intervention and arrangement on the Karen people’s Behalf that laid out by our leader Saw Ba U Gyi. If I have to review and analyze those three strategies today, my point of view and assumption is as the followings: 
Armed Struggle
The weakness point: As the KNU called for the Federal State of Burma, if we link to the fundamental of Federal State to this, the federal state is not formed with the several armies for a State. So that all should be done with  “One Nation, One Army’’ policy for the near future destination. Then, the totally armed holders population including ethnics armed group in Burma is more proportional than civilian that is impossible lead to federal country. In 2008 constitution, it mentioned the sovereign power derived from the People and it also covering all the behalf of the civilian in the country (Section 4, Chapter 1). Moreover, Ethnic Armed Group is able to stand such a partial of the Burmese Military force even how much strong and endure the sacrifice. On the other hands, that is no doubt to say that the Tatmadaw (Burmese Military)  is holding and playing long civil war and take profit on the ethnic armed struggling, keep the ethnics armed group as a buffer zone at the border line. Those are the main points that making misleading the Federal Democracy State by armed endeavoring. Otherwise, solving a problem by holding armed is created the violation, increase the IDPs, and the human rights violation is easy committed and can reduce the civilian trusting. We can get regret, it is the clear evident even fighting next to one century years long passed, the problem is not done and the conflict does not gone. It is just wasting the time and deferral the development for the community and the people. In Burma Concept, whoever the armed holders definite themselves as a liberator or rescuers for people, finally they have inattentive for Natural Disaster Emergence Response Management and other unnecessary missing and loosing. So every armed organization misplaced the basic ambition since they hold the weapon on.   Then, Make people confusions like every armed organization make conflicts and taking profit on war. 
Then, control the natural resources by armed force is such a matter because it is not going to the revenue , then the budget won’t come back to the people (Karen Civilian) for development.  Then, if the armed still hold on both sides, the deployed  troop is always will be settle down,  force able to attack, and the conflict can break out anytime. Then the consequently only the innocent people suffer and Human Rights Violation continue committed. 
The strong points: Achieved Armed to politic transformation by moving the peace process of  21 Pinlong Conference forwards even though the outcome is decent or not . And, stand by able to fight back the opponent when the negotiation on the table is failed. However the Thamadaw defame the KNU as a resurgent group, the Karen People always accept the Karen armed Group as their freedom fighter for life. Make the Karen People feel safe if the Karen Armed Group stand aside with them and whenever they are attacked by the Burmese troops.
Political Dialogue and Negotiated Settlement 
The weakness points: Since around 2002 to today, even both sides have made political dialogue agreement in many ways and several time, it didn’t bring not only the dream of Karen people but also the future dream of the country except just keep a temporary calm in some point. And, whenever the leaders hold the dialogue meeting on the table, the same time there is  frequent attack happen on the ground is making the people questioning that both sides are losing the accountability and responsibility. The consequences, that is still far-off from expected for peace. That is a big question for people that the political dialogue have to restart again and again is why?  Then, the political dialogue meeting has been already holding throughout the time  since to U Khin Nyut  to U thein Sein  to Daw Aung Sann Suu Kyi  government periods, but the decent result that still didn’t  come is just a weakness we can say. Whatever the political dialogue final outcome result information didn’t going through to the public to the ground people is forming difficulty to move forwards. There is no inclusiveness participation in Karen politics. For our civilian people, every Cease Fire Agreement is just on paper ever. Then, according to the 2008 constitution, there is no possibility to build the federal democracy because what the federal system available in the constitution and the ethnic want is quite leading opposite direction, it is like just the parallel stage that will never end in the intersect. Then, the multi-party system is not implemented in the peace process. 
The strong points: When any political dialogue holding on, the effective outcome can less the battle or war as much as available. Then, it can attain the equality and harmonious in religious, races and other discrimination. Also, the internal conflicts and war can pause for a quiet temporary due to under the National and International Watch. Then can control from over natural resources wasting due to the internal and international media watch.  
International Intervention and Arrangement on the Karen people’s behalf
Weakness Point: Geopolitically, there are five crisis that  driven the country poor. Those are (1) closed land boundary၊ (2) no good nature of neighbor countries (3) Longest civil war (4) poor management system, and (5) rich in natural resources. According to this, Burma has been facing with those four crisis ways except the boundary land closed. So, it is a big weakness that to expect from the International help, because it is not impossible to solve our Political conflicts with the international helps as the nature of geopolitics. The international community is likewise one give one take coordination and take profit on Burma Natural Resources. Example: the neighbor country Thailand, that allow the Karen Revolution group to let settle on their landside is just making, support to be buffer zone, and is promoted the profit on both side of Neighbor country and Burma. And not even eastern but also the western community is running on the profit on Burma both Ethnic and center Burmese sides. The international intervention is just a political broker on the other way. Because, they only want to take advantage on the natural resources. For example, when  both side of the armed groups sell the precious  timber, jade, and other mineral, it always going to the stronger country such as China, and other  neighbor countries. 
Strong Points: The International technical support is a good precious one to us. Such those facilitation, the method resources that we don’t have here, academic methods and technician need. Moreover, we can get the financial help when our government couldn’t afford to support even by loan or by donation. Therefore, there is more effective result outcome when the International involved into our politic resolving as a facilitation. Because, the KNU also has been long enduring by the International Community Aids. But also, both the Burmese Military and Civilian Government as well have many attained from International Supporting even by Technician or Financial  support. 

How to be a Better Political Way
Emotionally, conflicts come from when we are afraid, worry, less of confident and over confident. Therefore, both sides should be carefully favored to emotional intelligence when holding the political issue and solving its problem.  We can see the example of world peaceful famous person and political leaders  such those  Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and so on. Because my believing in spirituality is can change the situation onto the better movement or solution.
Politically, we should view the current supreme law of Burma, 2008 constitution because there are many points to showed out. The most grave one is there is no constitution in the world that appointed two second presidents, then Senior General Defense force must propose one of the second president (in directed appointed)  and  the equal authority also they both hold on. Then, political by people centered strategic   should be rather than  armed to politic according to Chapter 1, Section 4 (2008 constitution). But, 2008 constitution is should to reform or repair.
Therefore, here is my suggestion to our KNU side, firstly our ethnic armed organization how to approach the Peace process between the center government and Military Force. Then, Every Ethnic Armed group absolutely should need to firmly cooperate with the civilian government to draw the strategic of Burma outcome by any way in mental, spiritual, physical and political.  And also every ethnic armed organization whichever fight for freedom for their people should help one another as real brotherhood and holding side by side and stand together with the civilian government to find the best result of Burma Federal System from internal or external Hluttaw in order to reform the 2008 constitution or at least to change the law under 2008 constitution which practiced the unbalance rights and opportunity between the Ethnics and Burmese Military. Because, even the NLD winner party civilian Government alone can’t change any law during their governing periods. As for KNU, the KNU should establish Karen Political Research Department to inquiry the Karen political need and find fresh strategic in order to fulfill the near future federation. And to generate the Karen Political Resources, especially in Pow Karen. To form a team of delegation for KNU to meet with Burmese Military and Ethnic Armed by non-violence way / should be officially by internal or international acknowledge. To protect ethnic and religious identity conflicts is needed on the way to peace. And, try to find Win-Win solution by Constructive Building way. 
Economically, there is unbalance authorized and permission in the economic sector such as natural resources sharing and fundraising, between the Regional and National Government. Additionally, there is no official describe the Municipal Department in the constitution. Such is a point that make the people unconvinced where public taxs went and gone. Actually, Tax and Democracy country is always proportionally combined. Then, the regional government (Karen State) leader has strong cooperate with the business (tycoon) and such BGF leader. It is showing the error of the muti-party system impacts. So to implement the multi-party democracy system is also needed in the near future destination. 
Socially, whenever the negotiation peace or political talks is hold, there should be involved with the represent of ground people including CSOs, CBOs, NGOs and INGOs, the forgotten groups both armed group family voice who are left behind. And also the government staff should be involved and discuss into the politics process.  Then, every political groups sides should be careful to call for the impossible expected outcome. Because in the human nature, people are want more than need, then want to greed. Media is important in order to carry news to the people as well as  to control the fakes news between the user and community is needed