Myanmar 30 Jan 2015 09:48
Photos by Vincenzo Floramo
Text by Portia Larlee
Thick fog lifted at the break of dawn January 31 to reveal rows of troops at the Karen National Liberation Army headquarters on the Thai-Myanmar border. It was Karen Revolution Day and hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces. Decades later Karen, young and old, are driven by the fierce nationalism of generations past in the push for political autonomy. The event was an excellent starting point from which to discuss what a post-ceasefire Myanmar might look like. The peace process continues, with a seventh round of ceasefire talks set for the coming months. Karen leaders, including Karen National Union chairman Mutu Say Poe addressed troops at the KNLA headquarters, urging a nationwide ceasefire – and eventually a "federal army." Discussion of “security reform” was missing from the day's speeches, largely because the future of Myanmar's ethnic minority armies following a nationwide ceasefire remains unclear. What will become of Myanmar's freedom fighters?
FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST