Written by U Ne Oo on 1996-04-19
Concerns has been raised as to whether the Karen National Union may be entering into ceasefire agreement. The previous BurmaNet postings has informed us of the 12pt proposals by the KNU in ceasefire with the SLORC.
In my opinion, the 12 points raised by KNU are reasonable demands. The failure to agree to such proposal can clearly be identified as that of the SLORC's.
Regarding the ceasefire and dialogue with the opposition, there had already been sufficient enough initiatives made from the diplomatic circle. It become clearer as the year-end of 1995 of the fact that SLORC itself is making excuses to avoid the negotiations.
Part of the difficulties to reach all parties to the negotiating table originate at the Burmese military's attitude towards the minorities and politics. Appreciation of the use of violent means in political affairs and intellectual mediocrity of some Burmese army officers can be the major factors. There is no doubt on the need of the international community to impose proper measures through the U.N. Security Council to put the negotiations on the right track.
One danger to the current situation of movement is not enough information going inside/outside. The pro-democracy forces outside may not have enough information on what sort of pressure on the forces inside and at the border. Equally important is to inform the various initiatives made here to the forces inside. While the public media - excepting the Thai prints - are somewhat limited in support due to disinterests, such information may be most suitable to go through the Internet.
When looking back to early 1995, the fall of Manerplaw and the loss of some of the members to DKBA were sad events for KNU and pro-democracy forces. However, not all of that cannot be considered having negaving negative impact on the movement. Firstly, SLORC does not achieve its objectives of crushing KNU and the federal movement; SLORC still have to negotiate ceasefire with KNU despite the fall of Manerplaw. Secondly, the SLORC's insincerity towards the minorities becomes the proven factor on record. Furthermore, the fall of Manerplaw has alerted the expatriate and pro-democracy forces to work even harder. It is my observation that the movement is much stronger in 1995, after the fall of Manerplaw. Consequently, the KNU's political position becomes much better; it need to be noted that the demand for ceasefire with KNU happens to be making based on its political strengths.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.