New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Kayin People’s Party (KPP) says it wants to end all armed conflict with the Burmese army and Karen ethnic armed groups for the sake of economic development in Karen State.
Members of the Kayin People's Party, which has issued a call for peace in Karen State and a halt to fighting by all armed groups. Photo: Mizzima “Although many schools and roads were built in Karen State, the armed conflicts have severely affected the development of the region’, KPP general secretary Saw Say Wah told Mizzima. ‘Development and peace are strongly related, so we need to try to achieve a mutual understanding’.
He said that he wants the Karen State regional government to launch development plans, but that could be difficult to carry out immediately.
Recently, the Karen National Union (KNU), the major armed group in Karen State, and a breakaway faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) have engaged in running battles with Burmese government troops in the State.
One of the obstacles may be the chief minister of the Karen State government, who is a military-appointed representative, said Saw Say Wah.
Among a total of nine ministers of the Karen State government, one minister is from the KPP, two are from the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party, one is from the Kayin State Democracy and Development Party, one is from the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) and three are from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) while the rest are military-appointed representative.
The chief Minister of the state government is Brigadier General Zaw Min, who is the ex-chairman of the now defunct Karen State Peace and Development Council.
‘If the chief minister was a Karen person from any party, I would be satisfied, but now he is a military-appointed representative’, Saw Say Wah said.
He said that another need of the Karen people is the right to teach Karen language and literature in the state.
Karen State Ministers
- Colonel Aung Lwin (military appointed representative) (Border Affairs)
- Than Dine (USDP), (Industry, Communication)
- Saw Sar Law La (USDP), (Mines)
- Saw Win Htein (USDP), (Agriculture, Livestock)
- Saw Christopher (KPP), (Social Welfare, Education, Health)
- Min Soe Thein (aka) Nai Min Soe Thein (AMRDP), (Energy)
- Chit Hlaing ( Kayin State Democracy and Development Party), (Commerce)
- Saw Kyi Lin (Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party), (Forestry)
- Saw Khin Myint (Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party), (Transportation)