VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Internal armed conflict > Internal armed conflict in Burma > Conflict in particular States > Armed conflict in Karen State > Armed conflict in Karen State - general articles and reports

Order links by: Reverse Date Title

Armed conflict in Karen State - general articles and reports

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Karen National Union
Description/subject: Our Policies: "The Burmese military dictatorship spreads lies and misinformation about the KNU. We don’t recruit child soldiers, we don’t attack civilians and we are not trying to break up Burma. Read the truth about our policies here..."...Objectives: "The KNU Mission Statement is to establish a genuine Federal Union in cooperation with all the Karen and all the ethnic peoples in the country for harmony, peace, stability and prosperity for all. Read more here..."...Our Fallen Heroes: "Many brave Karen have given their lives in our struggle for freeedom. Find out more about them here..."...Our Leaders: "KNU leaders are democratically elected. Find out more here..."...Structure: "The KNU has a democratic structure, with regular elections. We also provide local services and administration in Karen State. Find out more about our structure and our democracy here..."...KNU History: "The Karen National Union is the leading political organisation representing the aspirations of the Karen people. The KNU was founded in 1947, its predecessor organisations date back to 1881..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen National Union
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 March 2011


Title: The Official Website of the Karen National Union (KNU)
Description/subject: Home | About us | Departments | Peace Process | Statements | Human Rights | Karen Unity | Contact...Departments: Agriculture Department; Alliance Affairs Department; Breeding & Fishery Department; Defense Department; Education & Culture Department; Finance & Revenue Department; Foreign Affairs Department; Forestry Department; Health & Welfare Department; Interior & Religious Department; Organising & Information Department; Justice Department; Mining Department; Transportation & Communication Department.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen National Union (KNU)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2013


Individual Documents

Title: Toungoo Field Report: December 2013 to December 2014
Date of publication: 25 February 2016
Description/subject: "This Field Report describes events occurring in Toungoo District between December 2013 and December 2014. During this period, KHRG mainly received reports from Thandaunggyi Township and surrounding areas. The report includes information submitted by KHRG community members on a range of human rights abuses and issues of importance to local communities including land confiscation, militarisation, fighting between armed groups, commercial activity carried out by military actors, violent abuse, access to education, access to healthcare, and development projects. • There have been ongoing cases of land confiscation at the hands of the Tatmadaw, for the purpose of building Burma/Myanmar government offices, establishing military target practice areas and increasingly, for plantations, commercial projects, and sale to private companies. • Militarisation in Toungoo District has continued, despite the 2012 preliminary ceasefire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma/Myanmar government, with the Tatmadaw rotating troops and replenishing their rations and ammunitions at camps in remote areas. • A local militia, the Thandaung Special Region Peace Group, have been engaged in several commercial activities, including running gambling areas, logging, and stone mining, in order to raise funds to support their operations. All of these activities have had a disruptive effect on villagers, in particular the school students. • The Burma/Myanmar government has invested in providing financial support for school students in standards one to four in Toungoo District, however this has not always been effective as in some cases the money does not reach the students. • There continues to be a lack of access to adequate healthcare in Toungoo District; the Burma/Myanmar government has only built clinics in the village tracts close to main roads, there is a shortage of properly trained healthcare workers and in the case of villagers with lower incomes, treatment is often too expensive. • Between April and June 2014 there was a meeting that was headed by the Mya Sein Yaung company, with representatives from ten villages, on the subject of the company’s Reducing Poverty project being implemented in Thandaunggyi Township."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (382K-reduced version; 658K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2016-02-25-Taungoo_Field_Report-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 February 2016


Title: Conflict Sensitivity in Education Provision in Karen State
Date of publication: December 2015
Description/subject: "Education is intimately linked with the concept of identity and plays a key role in any nation-building process. In countries recovering from violent ethno-political conflicts, education can positively contribute to peace-building efforts, but it can also negatively affect peace, when it interacts with the conflict dynamics. Language of instruction, cultural relevance of the curriculum, teaching methods, teacher recruitment and placement - all play a role in how effectively education can contribute to peace-building. Overall, community acceptance of the education system is key to ensuring its conflict sensitivity. The Myanmar situation is particularly complex, as the government is not the only actor in education provision, with different schools widely present in the country, due to the long history of civil war. In Karen State, education services are delivered by ethnic armed groups, religious organizations, communities, as well as refugee camps and migrants schools along the Thai- Myanmar border. Successive Myanmar governments have focused their nationbuilding efforts on the culture of the dominant Burman Buddhist majority. In a country, with some 135 minority groups, this approach was often perceived as an attempt of forced assimilation of ethnic minorities into the majority culture. As part of their self-determination struggle, ethnic armed opposition groups developed and maintained their own education systems, which they perceived as key to preserving their group’s cultural identity. The KNU, the main Karen ethnic armed group, established the Karen Education Department (KED) to oversee education provision. The KED currently provides support to 1,430 schools, paying stipends to almost 7,911 teachers in areas under full or partial administration of Karen armed opposition groups. However, only one third of schools receiving KED support fall under its full administration, with the majority being mixed or government schools..."..... Contents: Acronyms and Glossary... Executive Summary... 1. Introduction: Defining Conflict Sensitivity in Education... 2. Objectives and Methodology... 3. Background: Conflict and Education in Myanmar: Origins of conflict in Myanmar; Conflict, identity and education ; Present situation... 4. Karen State: Socio-Political Context and Local Governance Structures... 5. Education Providers and Systems in Karen State: Typology of providers and administration; Myanmar government schools; Karen education system (KED); Community-based education and mixed schools; Faith-based education providers; Border-based education providers; Concluding remarks... 6. Expansion of Government Education Services in Karen State: Communities lose ownership of schools; Local teachers replaced by government teachers; Lack of consultation with local stakeholders; Teachers’ difficulty to integrate into the local context; Concerns about the quality of education; Communities have to contribute to teachers’ expenses; Concerns over expansion of government control in contested areas; Analysis: how do local stakeholders react to government expansion?... 7. Education Provision Outside of the Government System... Case Studies: 1. Taw Naw High School; 2. War Ler Mu School; 3. K’Paw Htaw High School; 4. Hto Lwi Wah High School; 5. Government Schools in Myang Gyi Ngu.. 8. Relevant Initiatives and Steps Forward... 9. Recommendations.
Author/creator: Polina Lenkova
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thabyay Education Foundation
Format/size: pdf (1MB-reduced version; 5.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.thabyay.org/uploads/2/6/7/4/26749033/cs_ed_prov_karen.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 January 2016


Title: Fighting between Tatmadaw and DKBA soldiers along the Asian Highway displaces villagers in Dooplaya District, July 2015
Date of publication: 03 September 2015
Description/subject: "This News Bulletin describes the displacement of villagers in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District as a result of fighting that took place during July 2015 between Tatmadaw and Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) soldiers over control of a recently completed section of the Asian Highway. This information was provided by monk U T---, in whose monastery many of the displaced villagers sought refuge. This News Bulletin also lists several specific incidents of fighting and the implications of these incidents on the surrounding villages. As a result of the fighting, more than 1,000 villagers from more than five different villages in Kawkareik Township temporarily fled their homes and sought shelter at monasteries in Kawkareik Town. The schools in these villages were forced to close temporarily out of fears over the safety of the students, who were consequently unable to attend their lessons. The displaced villagers struggled to maintain their farms and plantations, as well as to look after their livestock during the fighting. The villagers slept at the monasteries throughout the night, as they were afraid that they would be ordered to porter for the Tatmadaw soldiers if they had stayed in their villages. On July 6th 2015, two villagers who were travelling on a path near to where Tatmadaw soldiers had taken up position for fighting were shot dead in Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District, see more at “Recent fighting between Tatmadaw and DKBA soldiers leads to killing and displacement of villagers in Hpa-an District, July 2015,” KHRG, August 2015. On July 7th 2015, a primary school building in Kawkareik Town was hit and damaged by a grenade reported to have been fired by two DKBA soldiers. However, no students or teachers were harmed as the incident took place at 7 am before the school had opened for the day.[1]..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (595K-reduced version; 613K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/%3fKHRG-2015-09-03-Fighting_between_Tatmadaw_and_DKBA_soldiers_a...
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/15-15-nb1_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 September 2015


Title: Casualties on Both Sides as Conflict Between DKBA, Govt Drags On
Date of publication: 13 July 2015
Description/subject: "RANGOON — Fighting last week between the Burma Army and ethnic Karen rebels has brought casualties for both sides as a dispute over illegal taxation along the Asia Highway in Karen State remains unresolved. State media reported on Monday that four soldiers from the Democratic Karen Benevolence Army (DKBA) were killed and three others detained, and that “some army officers from the Tatmadaw [Burma Armed Forces] sacrificed their lives for the country” in the course of nearly 40 clashes between the two sides..."
Author/creator: Lawi Weng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2015


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: Karen Army Leader Links Current Fighting To Burma Government’s Mega Development Projects
Date of publication: 24 October 2014
Description/subject: General Ner Dah Bo Mya, the head of the Karen National Defence Organisation told Karen News that armed conflict this month in Burma is linked to plans to build hydropower dams on the Salween River. In an exclusive interview General Ner Dah explains to Karen News why he has placed his troops are on high alert. General Ner Dah said that fighting between the government’s militia, the Border guard Force and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) has sent warning signals to the Karen armed groups that the government is planning to reinforce it military in the region. “The current situation that we have in our area right now is that we have to be alert because there are fighting between BGF and the DKBA. We have to be alert because we can see that the Burmese [army] are reinforcing their military in most of their base camps that are also close to our base camps.” General Ner Dah said that his organization is aware that the government intends to clamp down on any opposition to its plans to build ‘development projects’ in Karen State...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2014


Title: Listen To Us – Stop Ignoring Our Concerns
Date of publication: 12 October 2013
Description/subject: "A number of international governments, organisations and individuals try to squeeze the current situation of the Karen people into a narrow, restrictive and simplistic narrative that is usually framed like this. ‘After more than sixty years of conflict, at last the Karen have peace. There has been a ceasefire for almost two years, the Karen National Union and government of Burma are in dialogue, development projects and aid are coming into Karen State to help the people, and finally refugees can return home.’ If all this is true, why aren’t Karen people celebrating? As a nation, the Karen people have suffered so much. Generation after generation has grown up in fear, facing conflict, displacement and repression. Unknown millions have been forced from their homes, uncounted thousands have been killed, and there has been so much suffering. Surely if there is a real peace, we’d all be happy? Certainly for several communities in conflict zones the ceasefire makes a big difference. People are not being attacked as they were before, their villages destroyed, their lives taken, and the use of forced labour has fallen. However, even in these communities there is great caution. It’s a caution shared by most Karen people across Burma, in neighbouring Thailand, and those further abroad. International observers should be trying to understand exactly why people who have suffered so much from conflict and human rights abuses are not celebrating the current peace and reform process. If they fail to do so, they’ll fail to understand what is happening in Burma, and they will never see the lasting peace they claim they want to see in our country..."
Author/creator: Zoya Phan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Karen News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2013


Title: Situation Update in Karen State
Date of publication: 05 April 2013
Description/subject: In This Report: * Forced Labor in Doo Tha Htoo and Doo Pla Ya districts... * Burma Army makes improvements and additions to roads and camps in Karen State... * Villages in Toungoo district flooded after the construction of the Toe Bo Dam... * Flooding in Kler Lwee Htoo and Doo Pla Ya districts... * Improved relationship with Burma Army in Doo Pla Ya district
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: pdf (199K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2013/04/05/situation-update-in-karen-state/
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2013


Title: The world's longest ongoing war (video)
Date of publication: 11 August 2011
Description/subject: "For more than 60 years, Karen rebels have been fighting a civil war against the government of Myanmar...In February 1949, members of the Karen ethnic minority launched an armed insurrection against Myanmar's central government. In pictures: Sixty years of war. Over 60 years later, the conflict continues, with more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups waging war against the army in their fight for self-rule. Now, the war is entering a new and bloody stage. Myanmar is the only regime still regularly planting anti-personnel mines. But it is not only the army that uses them. Rebel groups also regularly use homemade landmines or mines seized from the military. As the conflict escalates, civilians are trapped in the middle of some of the worst fighting in decades. 101 East travels to Myanmar, home to the world's longest running civil war."
Language: English, Karen (English sub-titles)
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


Title: The Dynamics of Karen National Union Political and Military Development: Reflecting the Shifting Landscape
Date of publication: 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "This thesis investigates the themes and society of displaced Karen identity on the border between Burma and Thailand. The impact of the authoritarian military rule in Burma cannot be underestimated. The government exercises tremendous power to shape the social and economic environment. They determine whether a civil-society is prosperous and functions in an appropriate manner. Governments are also responsible for societal support and protection of all its populace. The population of Burma is essentially isolated from the global society through regime censorship and restrictions. The inter-linking spiral of humanitarian emergencies and continued to escalate, these include refugee, internally displaced people, the spread of preventable diseases and the illicit narcotic production. Recently, the Western governments had solidified their position towards the military junta resulting in a stalemate of diplomatic interaction, with ultimately the people of Burma being the victims of such actions. Current realities in the global sphere present the powerful Western Nations an opportunity for a change in perspective. US policy recommendations include a greater dialogue with the junta and the outcome of the election is seen as crucial to fostering better relation. It is imperative that long-essential reforms are undertaken if Burma if is to achieve lasting peace. The international community must develop coherent and focused policies towards Burma and make conflict resolution a priority. Humanitarian aid and displaced refugee support will play a vital role, and in the 21st Century regional dimensions must be addressed. The challenges of nation-state building must be made in conjunction with political, humanitarian, and economic issues."
Language: English
Source/publisher: University of Manchester (thesis submitted in 2010)
Subscribe: Peter James Bjorklund
Format/size: pdf (374K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2013


Title: Everyone wants change in Burma: Village Chief
Description/subject: "U Than Nyunt is a 57-year-old Karen refugee and the chief of a small rural village on the riverbanks of Moei. He grew up in a village near Belin in Mon State and was chosen to become the village chief during a time when Burmese military was employing Four Cuts policy. U Than Nyunt eventually couldn’t stand the military abuse anymore and fled to the Thailand-Burma border in 2003. He was again appointed the chief and led his villagers to build a thriving new village on the Burmese side of the border. Five years later, armed conflict forced them to abandon the village and flee across the river to Thailand. The villagers were scattered all over the border but U Than Nyunt was determined to bring them back together. He spent a year locating and collecting the villagers, finally able to bring them back to live in the same village. While U Than Nyunt speaks of their village on the Burmese side with great fondness and sorrow of a lost home, he doesn’t want to go back until there is genuine peace in the country."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2016


Title: I Have Never Regretted Becoming a Soldier
Description/subject: "Shan Lay is a friendly, compassionate and dedicated young man from the Shan State who has sacrificed everything to fight for the freedom of his people. Growing up in the Shan State with a Karen mother, young Shan Lay was always interested in learning more about his Karen roots. But his mother didn’t speak the language and all he was taught at school was that ‘Karen were rebels’. Somewhere deep inside, Shan Lay felt that there was more to the story. He witnessed firsthand the brutality of the government forces: Two of Shan Lay’s family members perished in the 8888 uprising, and when Shan Lay was a teenager, the Burmese military confiscated their family farm. Among other villagers, Shan Lay and his three childhood friends were forced out of their homes and left with nothing. A few years later, Shan Lay and his friends became freedom fighters on the Thailand-Burma border. Today, Shan Lay is the only one of them still alive. Despite the heartache, Shan Lay vows to never give up. Not until the country is free."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 March 2016


Title: I want peace, I really want it to be true
Description/subject: "Noe Myint is a friendly and kind-hearted 46-year-old Karen man who grew up hiding in the jungle from Burmese military until fleeing to Thailand at the age of 12. Son of a soldier, Noe Myint joined the revolution in 1988 and has spent much of his adult life in the battlefield fighting alongside his school friends and his son. Out of his three children, two are still alive, one of them resettled in Australia and one living in Mae La refugee camp waiting to join her brother and other family in Australia. While their children are registered with the UNHCR, Noe Myint and his wife are not, and thus unable to reunite with their family in Australia. Read more to learn about the life of this soldier who has not only fought for revolution for over 20 years but also looked after a number of orphans who had no one else to turn to. Read more to learn about Noe Myint’s experiences with the UNHCR and resettlement, DKBA’s split from the KNU, Burma Army tactics, and refugee camp attacks. Find out why Noe Myint has great hopes for the future of Karen and how the international community can help the Karen and other ethnic people of Burma in their quest for peace and democracy."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 March 2016


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: Story of a Karen refugee’s struggle for survival
Description/subject: "U Soe Myint is a 60-year-old Karen refugee who has struggled his whole life just to survive. Amidst deep-seated poverty, armed conflict and Burma Army abuse, U Soe Myint has had everything but an easy life. He had to work in a farm throughout his childhood, frequently hide from Burmese soldiers in the trees and the jungle in his adulthood, and finally flee to Thailand. U Soe Myint walked to Thailand through the jungle, knowing that he might step on a landmine any moment. For nearly 30 years, he was forced to live away from his wife and three children. While U Soe Myint was at last able to reunite with his family in Mae La refugee camp in 2006, his close family members are now scattered around the world, uncertain if they will ever be able to reunite. This is his story."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2016


Title: They Burnt Down Our Village
Description/subject: "Naw Woo doesn’t know her age exactly but she thinks that she is about 40 years old. She grew up in a small village in the Karen State, helping her parents make a living with hill-side plantations. Conditions were harsh and sometimes the villagers had little more to eat than rice with salt. Other times they had to substitute rice for bamboo shoot or anything else they could find in the jungle. The villagers also regularly fled from Burmese soldiers who came to their village with no warning, demanding porters and torturing and beating anyone who got caught running away from them. Naw Woo and other villagers lived in a constant state of fear, and many villagers lost their lives amidst fighting between Burmese and Karen soldiers. Eventually, Burmese soldiers burnt their whole village to the ground. This is her story of survival and hope."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 March 2016


Title: We Weren’t Afraid of Snakes or Tigers, just Burmese Soldiers
Description/subject: "Daw Hla Shin is a 70-year-old Karen woman from Win Tar Pan village in Bilin, Mon State. She grew up amidst Burmese Army abuse that only worsened after she married a Karen soldier. The villagers lived in constant fear of the Burmese soldiers, enduring torture, killings, and burnt homes and belongings. For Daw Hla Shin, things were even worse; the villagers tried to protect her but they were so afraid of the Burmese military that even her own parents refused to live with her, knowing the Burmese soldiers thought she was a spy for the Karen. She couldn’t even live in the village anymore. She had to stay away in the jungle. The villagers knew about that and they tried to protect her but there was not much they could do. Daw Hla Shin had nowhere to go. Having never attended school or had any connection to the outside world, Daw Hla Shin, nor her younger sister, had any idea that there would be any escape or that Thailand even existed. Both sisters lost their first husbands in battle against the Burma Army. What happened to them and where are they now? Read Daw Hla Shin’s story to find out more."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2016