KNU - Karen National Union
Our Basic Principles
In our march towards our objectives we uphold the four principles laid down by our beloved leader, the late Saw Ba U Gyi, which are:
· For us, surrender is out of the question.
· The recognition of Karen State must be completed.
· We shall retain our arms.
· We shall determine our own political destiny.
· Culture Identity
· Rights to self-determination
The Karen National Union has the aim of a genuine Federal Union comprised of all the states of the nationalities on the basis of equality and self-determination.
We strongly believe in the Charter of the United Nations, its Declarations on Human Rights, the principle of Self-Determination and the Democratic Rights of Peoples – all causes for which we are fighting.
The Karen National Union leadership is a democratically elected body with individuals elected at congress held every 4 years. The KNU Congress is recognised as the KNU’s supreme legislative body. It is here that the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, General Secretary, Joint Secretaries 1 and 2 and the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the Central Standing Committees (CSC) and candidate members are elected. The seven KNU districts are responsible for electing their own District Chairpersons and District Standing Committee leaders every two years. As the District Chairpersons and Brigade Commanders are elected at local levels, they are automatically appointed as Central Standing Committee Members. The District Chairpersons and Brigade Commanders together with nominated District Standing Committee Members attend the KNU congresses. In addition, elected Central Standing Committee members would provide the Heads the for 14 Departments including Culture, Defence, Education, Forestry, Foreign Affairs, Health and Mining etc. (See departments).
The CEC is made up of 11 members that are responsible for the day-to-day running of the KNU. The CSC meets annually, however when issues arise that either directly affect the KNU policies and/or the existence of the KNU organisation, the CEC will call a CSC Emergency Meeting.
Additionally the Foreign Affairs Department appoints KNU representatives. These representatives are based among the Karen communities who support KNU political goals and objectives in their respective countries.