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Last updated: June 19, 2009


Burmese Army/DKBA takes three KNLA Bases

Battalion 21On June 13 the DKBA captured the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) base of 21 battalion in Karen State opposite Mae Salit village in Thailand. On June 15 the DKBA captured the KNLA bases of 22 and 101 battalions in Karen State opposite Noh Boh and Mae Plu in Thailand. The Burma Army and DKBA are expected to continue the attack on the KNLA 7th Brigade headquarters and the base of 202 battalion. Continue


Karen Leaders Killed

Saw Ba U GyiSaw Ba U Gyi , first President of the Karen National Union, and Saw Sankey, co-founder of the Karen National Defence Organisation, along with a small group of colleagues  including an unknown Caucasian were killed on the 12th August 1950.

While there is no concrete evidence to suggest that there was an informer in or around the area where Saw Ba U Gyi, Saw Sankey, the Caucasian – who became known as ‘Mr Baker’, and the small party of Karens found themselves staying that rainy night  - the stories still persist.

Blossoms of Karen Culture

Frog DrumCULTURE is a "priceless heritage.' for it displays the personality of a nation. of even a single race.. So every race jealously guards its culture. does all it can to keep up cultural progress. To best serve a race. its culture also has to develop and improve in harmony with like social progress of its neighbours. To even discuss culture calls for: skill, for deep understanding. To strive for its development is a task as difficult as it is challenging. So while
a wealth of ideas for enriching culture
of Union nationalities ' have been produced by Union Day conferences. the Karen people of the Irrawaddy Delta appear as the first of our nation to evolve an all-round programme to
translate ideals into reality.
Forward Magazine (Rangoon) Vol VI,
No 7, 15 November 1967

War In Karen Country

War CoverThe Karen National Union and especially the actions of the Karen National Liberation Army have spawned a number of books detailing a fascination for the Karen cause. While a number of these tomes, most impressively Jonathan Falla’s ‘True Love and Bartholomew’ (Cambridge 1991), have been well researched and accurately portray the author’s understanding, sympathy, and compassion for the Karen revolution and the people’s plight. A number, usually written by ex-soldiers who have ‘spent time on the frontline’ with the KNLA, are often best characterized as fantasies constructed mostly for the authors own egos and self-promotion (see Mike Tucker’s The Long Patrol for example). Continue >

Al Jazeera 7th Brigade Offensive

Manerplaw 1992. At the beginning of January 1992 the Burmese regime announced its intention to capture the KNU's Headquarters at Manerplaw (Victory Field) by the 27th March 1992. Over 10,000 troops were involved in operations against the base. Although the KNU/KNLA would lose a strategic location, Sleeping Dog Mountain, the HQ would still hold out for a further three years when it was taken after a joint SLORC/DKBA offensive.

Kawthoolei and Teak - Raymond Bryant

Elephants WangkaThe Karen State of Kawthoolei has been heavily dependent on teak extraction to fund the Karen National Union struggle against the Burmese military junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Raymond Bryant explores the social and economic structure of Kawthoolei, and the way in which resource extraction was more than simply a source of revenue — it was also an integral part of the assertion of Karen sovereignty.

In late January 1995 the Karen National Union (KNU) suffered a major military defeat when Mannerplaw — its headquarters near the Thai-Burmese border since 1974 — was captured by the Burmese army. In subsequent days, KNU leaders fled to Thailand in a move that appeared to mark the end of the KNU's 47 year struggle against the Burmese State. Continue >