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Government attempts to divide Karen: Mahn Sha’s children


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Editor's Note: This is a revised story correcting an error in an earlier version that mistakenly identified the assassinated leader as General Saw Bo Mya.

The children of the assassinated Karen National Union General-Secretary Padoh Mahn Sha La Phan said there was no evidence of the involvement of Ner Dah Mya in the assassination of their father and asked people not to believe rumours. 

Padoh Mahn Sha La Phan, the former KNU general-secretary, was assassinated on February 14, 2008. Photo: Karen National Union The statement came after the August 30 release of a US embassy cable on Wikileaks that reported a diplomat’s conversation with Dr. Simon Tha, who was a government negotiator during peace talks. 

According to the cable, Simon Tha informed the diplomat that Ner Dah Mya, the son of the late KNU leader General Mya, telephoned an unnamed DKBA officer a few days before the assassination of the influential Karen leader by two gunmen at his home in Mae Sot, Thailand, on February 14, 2008.

Saw Say Say Phan, Nant Bwa Bwa Phan, Nant Zoya Phan and Saw Slone Phan said in the statement: "The dictatorship has always tried to divide our people. They have done this through a variety of tactics, including trying to sow mistrust between us.”

They stressed that there was no evidence of the involvement of Ner Dah Mya in the assassination. 

“To pass on gossip and rumour without evidence is irresponsible and only benefits the dictatorship. We urge people to pay no attention to gossip and rumour. We must not allow ourselves to be divided,” the statement said.

Mahn Sha was known for never compromising on the principles laid down by the KNU in negotiating with the military junta. Two days before his death, he was quoted as saying: “The cause for the country’s disintegration is the military dictatorship. If we can topple this dictatorship today, our country will be united again on the same day. I firmly believe it.”

Dr. Simon Tha, a neurologist surgeon, is an ethnic Karen who was one of the negotiators between the KNU and the Burmese government during peace talks.

The leaked US diplomatic cable said, “Still others thought the Burmese regime was involved, although Simon Tha acknowledged that he had not yet seen any conclusive evidence to establish who was responsible and why.”

The cable reported that Simon Tha said that many people he spoke with believed that three men abandoned a black pickup truck and crossed into an area of the DKBA 999th regiment, under the command of Major Chit Thu. However, Simon Tha acknowledged that he had not spoken with anyone who had actually witnessed the men crossing the river and was relying on hearsay testimony from his Karen contacts.

Similar US diplomatic cables sent from the US embassy in Burma were included in the postings on the Wikileaks website. In the latest release, there are hundreds of such leaked cables.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 September 2011 17:26 )  

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