Friday, 15 November 2019

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Mutu Say Poe to continue as KNU military chief

The KNU’s central committee has announced that Gen. Mutu Say Poe will continue as commander-in-chief of the Karen National Union (KNU) until a permanent decision is made at the group’s 15th congress which is scheduled to begin on November 26 and last until mid-December.

The announcement was made following a meeting of 40 central committee members in the Lay Wah area in Karen State capital Pa-an from October 31 to November 20.

Much controversy and division has affected the rank-and-file KNU members, not to mention an air of disenchantment among the Karen general public about an internal rift among the KNU leadership which resulted in the October 3 dismissal of three Karen leaders: Mutu Say Poe; Social Welfare and Relief Department head Pado Roger Khin; and Judicial Department chief Pado David Taw.

“The central committee does not accept the decision made by the CEC [Central Executive Committee] to dismiss Mutu Say Poe and the others,” said KNU joint general secretary [1] Pado Saw Hla Ngwe. “So they are entitled to retain their positions until the next Congress.”

Pado David Taw passed away on October 14.

Speaking to Mizzima, Pado Saw Hla Ngwe said that, consequently, Brig-Gen Baw Kyaw Heh, who was appointed interim commander-in-chief of KNU after Mutu Say Poe was dismissed, “no longer needs to fulfill his work as commander-in-chief.”

The controversy began when Mutu Say Poe opened a government liaison office without the approval of the KNU leadership including David Takapaw and general-secretary Zipporah Sein.
“But they did it in a spirit of goodwill,” said Pado Saw Hla Ngwe. “They did not intend to violate the fundamental principles of the organization. They thought that they should act immediately, and they did it. Anyway, they themselves admitted that there were faults in what they had done.”

KNU General Secretary Naw Zipporah Sein, a member of KNU Central Executive Committee, who was involved in making the decision to dismiss the three, told Mizzima: “We have all agreed to look forward in unity and in accordance with KNU policy.”


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