“It is expected that clashes will intensify in the future. It is not because of the change of new chairman, but because of the ongoing situation of junta regime. As they are facing difficult situation, they will increase offensives.”

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After several postponements due to Covid pandemic, political and military issues, the 17th Congress of Karen National Union was held from 24 April to 4 May. In its post congress statement, KUN said that it will fight against national chauvinism and dictatorship, and will join hands with ethnic revolution organizations, democratic forces and people from various strata who are struggling for the emergence of federal democracy Union, democratic rights, national equality and rights for self-determination.


Interview with Padoh Saw Kler Say is about future plans of KNU, the change of leadership, and possible situations in political and military affairs.


TLT: Could you explain the future steps in relation to statement of KNU congress?


Padoh Saw Kler Say: We have set four-years plan. The details were not published. The leaders in the management are being assigned for duties.


TLT: The statement said that KNU will cooperate with ethnic revolution organizations, democratic forces and people from various strata. How will do it?


Padoh Saw Kler Say: Our cooperation will depend on the sectors of various strata. Different organizations have different revolution strategy. So, we need to meet first to adopt future plans how we can do cooperation among different revolution groups.


TLT: What will be developments in the change of KNU chairman?


Padoh Saw Kler Say: We issued a public report over one month ago. It is about human rights violations in our territory. We cannot imagine the possible situation after the change of chairman. But, it is expected that clashes will intensify in the future. It is not because of the change of new chairman, but because of the ongoing situation of junta regime. As they are facing difficult situation, they will increase offensives.


TLT: Could you talk about reorganization of departments in the KNU network and participation of youth in election of departmental heads?


Padoh Saw Kler Say: We changed organizational structure. The Organization and Information Department and the Alliance Affairs Department were merged into a committee as these two departments were not administrative sector, and are just related to politics. These departments will continue its works under Politics and Organization Committee. Participation of youth will have significant effects on future works. They could implement future plans energetically. The senior members could give valuable advices to them. So, it is expected the activities will get better.


TLT: Could you talk about the statement on crime related businesses?


Padoh Saw Kler Say: The statement was an objection against accusation. First, we see signatures of KNU leaders on the agreements which went viral online. However, it cannot be decided to be guilty, and further investigations are needed. We will publish the findings from investigations in due course. It is not possible to finish this process overnight. We will do it step-by-step. Actions will be taken in line with legal procedures of Karen tradition. As the congress has recently finished, we are not ready to start investigation. But we are preparing to organize investigation team, and some sorts of information are being collected in advance.

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