“They (the military council) invited different groups with some enticements. This is their old fashion. We cannot accept such peace-making efforts.”

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The National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) and the National Unity Government issued a joint communique to express the policy of resistance forces in Spring Revolution on 6 August.

The statement mentioned the six objectives including the change of system, in addition to regime change,  to establish federal democracy union, and to end tradition of military coup and military’s involvement in politics.

This interview with Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the central committee member and official of foreign affairs department of Karen National Union, is about the joint communique of resistance forces, possible formation of Battalion 8 and enticements of the military council to KNU.

TLT: Could you talk about the release of joint communique of resistance forces?

Padoh Saw Taw Nee: The joint statement of NUCC and NUG on 6 August has highlighted the need of system change, in addition to regime change. Since 1958 and 1962, the military ruled the country in various sectors. Whenever political and economic crisis occurred, they just reshuffled their personnel, but no system change. So, we must totally change the system together with ideas and practices. Both military dictatorship and civilian dictatorship are not good. We need to end all forms of dictatorship.

TLT: It was learnt that the military enticed KNU for ceasefire. What is KNU’s response to this? What are the enticement of the military council?

 Padoh Saw Taw Nee: I also learnt about the military’s enticement to KNU. It is their old strategy. They have no genuine desire for peace and unity. But they are trying to divide us traditionally. They invited different groups with some enticements. This is their old fashion. We cannot accept such peace-making efforts. This is our firm determination.

TLT: Is it true that KNU will form Battalion 8 in Yechaungphyar area in Mon state? How will it be established? And what is KNU’s view on the security patrol of New Mon State party?

Padoh Saw Taw Nee: KNU has not announced the formation of Battalion 8. But this news went viral. We found that it was announced by KNLA’s Battalion 17 on 10 August. The Battalion 17 is under the command of Brigade 6. They are operating in the area where we cannot fully control.

They regularly patrolled on No. 8 Union Highway. But we did not know the establishment of Battalion 8. The military dictatorship is not good for both Karen and Mon people in these areas. So, we need to work together to remove the dictatorship, and need to avoid misunderstanding among resistance forces.

 We will try to get more understanding. This is our duty. We, Mon and Karen, need to make more discussions in the future. In addition to Mon group, we are focusing on seven districts where other ethnic people such as Bamar, PaO and Shan people are living.

We have officially announced to establish Kawthoolei state in the future. So, we will make the best negotiations with all the ethnic people. However, we need to focus on ending military dictatorship at the moment.

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