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Burma's ethnic opposition
See also Internal Armed Conflict, Non-Burman and non-Buddhist groups, etc.

Individual Documents

Title: The International Community Must Stop Funding Gvt’s Attacks on Kachin Civilians: Moon Nay Li, General Secretary of KWAT
Date of publication: 03 August 2015
Description/subject: "Moon Nay Li is the General Secretary of the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), an organisation which she joined in 2002 in order to work for her people and community. The KWAT was founded on September 9th 1999 in response to recognising the urgent need for women to organise themselves to help solve the growing social and economic problems in the Kachin State...The KWAT is very concerned that foreign aid and investment is serving to subsidise the government’s war machine. As Moon Nay Li points out; “They (international community) are [giving] more support to the government, [but] now the government military has not stopped attacking the ethnic people.” Instead of funding the government’s offensives, “they have to give pressure to Burmese government to have real political dialogue in our country,” says Moon Nai Li. “They have to know that (the real) situation and also have to give pressure, not listen only to the government side. But also they have to listen to the ethnic leaders and also the ground, and CBOs and ethnic people.”
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2016


Title: Karen Major General Nerdah Bo Mya: ‘The Government Is Playing the Game’
Date of publication: 07 April 2015
Description/subject: "Nerdah Bo Mya is a Major General and the Chief of Staff of the Karen National Defence Organization (KNDO), which was founded in 1947 to protect the Karen people and territory, and is under its mother organisation Karen National Union (KNU). Nerdah Bo Mya, 48, was born near Manerplaw—the former headquarters of the KNU as well as other ethnic nationalities and the pro–democracy movement—as the son of the late General Bo Mya who was the President of the KNU from 1976 to 2000. After being educated in Thailand and in the US, where Nerdah Bo Mya spent six years studying a Liberal Arts degree at a university in California, the young graduate turned away from a future in the US and soon returned to the Thailand-Burma border. For over 20 years, he has fought for “freedom, democracy, and humanity,” against what is undoubtedly one of the most brutal military regimes in the world. This dedicated and empathetic “rebel” leader emphasizes that it is not just the Karen people but a whole nation of 60 million people who are still suffering and need to be freed. Although the international community has enjoyed what some call a honeymoon with the Burmese government since the country started opening up in 2011, according to Nerdah Bo Mya, the government is still not showing signs of sincerity in peace talks nor genuine willingness to change. “The government is playing the game,” he says, and the international community too often indirectly participating in ongoing atrocities. In this exclusive interview with Burma Link, Nerdah Bo Mya talks about the struggle, the current state of the ceasefire and the peace process, the role of the international community, and how to build a prosperous Burma for the future generations."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2016


Title: Myanmar's Shan see long path to peace
Date of publication: 06 September 2013
Description/subject: "Deep in Myanmar's mountainous terrain near the border with Thailand, the rebel Shan State Army (SSA) has one of its main bases. The slow drive from the border on a steep winding track through the jungle along the top of a ravine takes several hours. There, Lieutenant General Yawd Serk commands one of the last ethnic armies still fighting for autonomy against the Myanmar military. The SSA-South army, as it's popularly known, numbers several thousand armed troops. Shan rebel leaders insist that they have at least 20,000 trained soldiers; Thai military intelligence sources suggest the figure is now less than 10,000 under arms. They have been fighting against the Myanmar army since 1995, after a group of rebels refused to accept a ceasefire agreement signed by the Mong Tai army led by the Shan supremo at the time, the now deceased drug baron Khun Sa..."
Author/creator: Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


Title: Human Rights in Karen Areas of Burma
Date of publication: 08 April 1996
Description/subject: Briefing Notes by Kevin Heppner, Karen Human Rights Group April 8, 1996 "...Right now the opposition Karen National Union (KNU) is trying to conduct ceasefire negotiations with the SLORC (State Law & Order Restoration Council) military junta ruling Burma. Though the SLORC claims to be making every effort to bring peace to the country, they are still refusing to even discuss any political or human rights issues, and as a result the talks are making no progress. Many observers feel that the SLORC is not yet interested in a ceasefire, but wants to launch major attacks against the KNU first in order to weaken the KNU so it can be forced to accept what amount to surrender terms. Regardless of the negotiations, SLORC continues to worsen the human rights situation for villagers throughout Karen areas. In some areas, such as Taungoo and Nyaunglebin, systematic abuse of the civilian population is being used partly with the intention of driving the KNU towards a ceasefire deal on very bad terms. However, in most areas the abuses are increasing as a direct result of SLORC moving in and exerting stronger control in areas where KNU forces have been weakened or eliminated. Even in areas close to central Burma which SLORC has always strongly controlled, the human rights situation is worsening because more Army Battalions are being sent in to strengthen control over the civilian population, and because SLORC’s use of forced labour is increasing nationwide. The sections below give summaries of the human rights situation prevailing in some example Karen regions, starting from the northern tip of Karen State and moving southward several hundred kilometres to Tenasserim Division..."
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2009


Title: Please Support Our People, Not the Government – They Are Cheating the World: Mahn Robert Ba Zan
Description/subject: "Mahn Robert Ba Zan is a former Karen freedom fighter and an advisor to the Karen Communities of Minnesota. He served in the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) for more than 30 years, following in the footsteps of his father Mahn Ba Zan, the first commander of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO) and a former President of the Karen National Union (KNU). In 2000, Mahn Robert Ba Zan resettled to the United States of America with his family, changing his revolutionary tactics towards raising awareness and educating the Karen and other ethnics. In this interview, Mahn Robert Ba Zan talks about the ceasefire and car permits, ethnic unity, and how the international community can help the Karen in their quest for genuine peace and freedom."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2016


Title: Ta’ang (Palaung) Leader’s Message to the International Community: ‘Come and See the Real Picture in Our Areas’
Description/subject: "The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, are one of Burma’s myriad ethnic groups who have been fighting for basic human rights and autonomy for decades. Despite the international enthusiasm over Burma’s reform process, the reality in Burma’s ethnic borderlands remains dire, and the Burmese military continues its brutal offensive against ethnic civilians. Tar Aik Bong joined the Ta’ang struggle in 1987, and is now the Chairperson of the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), the Head of military commission of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), as well as a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) council and Foreign Affairs Department. The PSLF/TNLA is one of the few prominent ethnic armed groups yet to sign a ceasefire with the Burmese government. The following is Tar Aik Bong’s message to the international community."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016