SAW O MOO: Defender of Indigenous Karen Territories, the Environment and Way of Life

KWO sends our heartfelt condolences to the remaining members of Saw O Moo’s family in this very sad time after he was killed by Burma Army soldiers last month.
In his honor, we want to share his life story and achievements with our friends and colleagues all over the world. That we may learn from him and his desire to see real peace in our land.
We feel enormous gratitude to him for his work as a defender of Human Rights and Indigenous Rights, and as a protector of the environment and the Karen way of life.
Saw O Moo, you are not with us anymore but your work will be in our hearts forever. You will be always remembered as a Karen indigenous rights defender and we offer hope that your soul may rest in peace. We make a promise to you to carry on your work in defense of our lands, our identity, and our freedom.
Karen Women’s Organisation
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KWO Celebrates 33rd Anniversary

kwo logo

On the occasion of KWO’s 33rd anniversary, April 5, 2018, we celebrate our successes while also looking at our challenges ahead and how to overcome them. KWO will have it’s largest celebration of the anniversary in the Taw Oo District of Karen State led by the KWO Central leadership. The celebration includes a sport competition, a concert showing Karen culture, songs, and dancing. KWO will also present information on KWO’s work, the peace process and gender equality. KWO will particularly honor KWO leaders and staff who have worked full time for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 25 years respectively. KWO is the strong vibrant organization we have become because of their commitment and hard work.

Naw Paw GayIt is our honor to recognize Nan Paw Gay as well for her leadership and contribution to our community and to Burma. She is a member of the KWO Standing Committee and has worked in community media. Due to her talent and hard work she rose to Chief Editor of the Karen Information Center in 2008. She was also Burma News International (BNI) Executive Director.

hser hser

Additionally, we honor a KWO young leader, Naw Hser Hser, a KWO Standing Committee member and Joint General Secretary of the Women’s League of Burma. Naw Hser Hser won the P’doh Mahn Sha Young Leadership Award this year which she will receive on KWO day. KWO congratulates Naw Hser Hser on her award. Naw Hser Hser is a role model for younger women in our community through her hard work for KWO, the Karen community, and the entire ethnic community in Burma.

Both these women show the strength, vision, and hard work of Karen women and inspire all of us through their work.

In addition to all these women we also want to recognize the 80 Traditional Birth Attendants who work with KWO for their incredible contribution to the health and well being of women and children in our community.

KWO will honor 151 women and 2 men today for their positive contribution the Karen community. The list of those being recognized follows:

  • Women’s Champion in Social Work: Nan Paw Gay, Chief Editor of Karen Information Center and Executive Director of Burma News International

  • Women with over 25 years of service: P’doh Myaing Poe, P’doh Paw Day Toe, Tharmu Shwe Paw, Thramu Baw Nyaw, P’doh Naw Dah Dah,  and Naw Khin Yin

  • Women with over 10 years of service: 31 women

  • Women with over 15 years of service: 30 women

  • Women with over 5 years of service: 5 women

  • Traditional Birth Attendants: 80 people (78 women and 2 men)

Third Karen Women’s Seminar held in Karen State

KWO is excited to announce the formation of a new a new “Karen Grassroots Women’s Network” which will strengthen the voice of Karen women in advocacy efforts.   KWO gathered women from a wide variety of Karen civil society organisations for the third Karen Women’s Seminar at the end of March 2018.

The women discussed issues for two days and decided to form the new Grassroots Women’s Network.  At the conclusion of the seminar the attendees jointly endorsed the following resolutions:

  1. We call on the Burma Army to stop their military operations in all ethnic areas.
  2. We want the 2008 constitution to be abolished and call on the Burma  Government to begin a process whereby a genuine federal constitution can be drawn up.
  3. We also call on all stakeholders to stop mega development projects in all ethnic areas until there is genuine peace and a political settlement.
  4. There must be no forced repatriation of refugees.
  5. We also call on the international community and donors to continue to support
    humanitarian aid to refugees and IDPs according to international standards until peace is restored in the country

3rd Karen Women Seminar, 2018 Karen Version (1)3rd Karen Women Seminar Statement in BurmeseThird Karen Women Seminar 2018 Statement Eng Version (1)

KWO Receives Women of Change Award

KWO was awarded a Women of Change award by the United States Embassy in Rangoon.  The Women of Change Award is a U.S.Embassy initiative “to recognize Myanmar women who have made significant and lasting contributions to their communities…”

 

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DVB coverage Burmese

Karen news coverage – English

Irrawaddy Coverage – English

Frontier – Myanmar Coverage – English

Displaced Karen demand Myanmar Army leave their ancestral lands

Published on May 27, 2017
 KESAN Channel

 

On the day of the 2nd Panglong Union Peace Conference is taking place in Nay Pyi Taw, the displaced Karen people organized a public demonstration demanding the removal of the Burma Army camp from their ancestral lands, in order to facilitate their safe return and rehabilitation of their livelihoods.

Similarly as part of this demonstration, Karen IDPs in the Hpla Koh area of Mutraw District- displaced for over four decades- have already organized the same public demonstration on May 15th with the same demands.

The ongoing peace process and its mechanisms do not provide better security for the IDPs nor prevent the expansion of the Burma Army camps. Mutraw District/5th Brigade alone has seen the number of Burma Army camps increase from 65 to 81 since 2012. This increase in Burmese troops means that thousands of refugees or IDPs remain afraid to return to their homelands because they dare not live in areas that are under the Burma Army’s control.

The IDPs from Ee Tu Hta and Hpla Koh have demanded the following demands for fundamental changes that are needed for a safe, voluntary and dignified return.

(1) Burma Army camps must be withdrawn completely from our villages, farms, orchards and the roads to our homes. Specifically, there can be no return until the 17 Burma Army camps shown on the attached map are withdrawn.

(2) Land mines must be removed from our villages, farms, orchards and roads.

(3) An end to human rights violations, such as sexual abuse, forced labor, extortion, killing, and the destruction or confiscation of farms and orchards.

(4) The end of civil war in all ethnic areas of Burma

(5) A code of conduct that is properly monitored for government and ethnic military to uphold

(6) Refugee and IDP return should be a part of the peace agreement with a comprehensive and clear plan for the reintegration of IDPs and refugees, with IDP return as the first priority, which includes genuine participation of the affected populations.

(၂၄ ေမလ ၂ဝ၁၇) ယေန႕တြင္ ဒုတိယအႀကိမ္ေျမာက္ပင္လံုညီလာခံကို ေနျပည္ေတာ္၌ က်င္းပေနစဥ္ ကရင္စစ္ေဘးဒုကၡသည္မ်ားသည္ ၎တို႕ယခင္ေနရပ္ဌာေနသို႕ လံုၿခံဳစိတ္ခ် စြာျပန္သြာၿပီး ဘဝတဖန္ျပန္လည္စတင္ႏိုင္ရန္အတြက္ အတူတကြစုစည္းကာ ျမန္မာ စစ္တပ္၏စစ္စခန္းမ်ားအား ၎တို႕၏ဘိုးဘြားပိုင္နယ္ေျမေဒသမ်ားထဲမွထြက္ခြာေပးရန္ လုပ္ရွားမႈတစ္ခုျပဳလုပ္ကာ ေတာင္းဆိုခဲ့သည္။

အလားတူပင္ ဖာပြန္ခရိုင္၊ ဖလာခိုေဒသအတြင္း ျပည္တြင္းစစ္ေၾကာင့္ ႏွစ္ေပါင္း ၄ဝ ေက်ာ္ ေနရပ္စြန္႕ခြာထြက္ ေျပးပုန္းေရွာင္ေနရသည့္ ျပည္တြင္းပုန္းေရွာင္ဒုကၡသည္တို႕သည္ ဤဆႏၵထုတ္ေဖၚေတာင္းဆိုမႈ၏အစိတ္အပိုင္းတစ္ခုအ ျဖစ္ ယခုလ ၁၅ ရက္ေန႕ကလည္း အလားတူဆႏၵထုတ္ေဖၚေတာင္းဆိုမႈတစ္ခုကို ဖာလာခိုေဒသတြင္ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့သည္။

လက္ရွိၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးေဖၚေဆာင္မႈႏွင့္လုပ္ငန္းစဥ္မ်ားသည္ ျပည္တြင္းပုန္းေရွာင္ေနထိုင္သူ IDP မ်ားအတြက္ ပိုမို ေကာင္းမြန္ေသာလံုၿခံဳမႈကို ေဖၚေဆာင္ေပးျခင္းမရွိသလို ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္၏ စစ္စခန္းတိုးခ်ဲ႕ခ်ထားမႈကိုလည္း ဟန္႕တားႏိုင္ျခင္းမရွိပါ။ ဖာပြန္ခရိုင္/တပ္မဟာ (၅) နယ္ေျမတစ္ခုတည္းအတြင္း၌ ၂ဝ၁၂ ခုႏွစ္မွစတင္ၿပီး ယခု အခ်ိန္အထိ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္၏ စစ္စခန္းမ်ား ၆၅ မွ ၈၁ ေနရာအထိ တိုးျမင့္လာခဲ့သည္။ ဤကဲ့သုိ႕ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ ၏တိုးျမင့္လာမႈေၾကာင့္ ဒုကၡသည္ သို႕မဟုတ္ IDP ေထာင္ေပါင္းမ်ားစြာသည္ မိမိေနရပ္ဌာေနသို႕ျပန္သြားရန္ ေၾကာက္ရြံ႕လ်က္ရွိေနၾကသည္။ အေၾကာင္းမွာ ၎တို႕သည္ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္၏ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္မႈေအာင္ရွိေဒသမ်ားအ တြင္း၌ ေနထိုင္အသက္ရွင္ရန္ ေၾကာက္ရြံ႕ေနေသာေၾကာင့္ျဖစ္သည္။

ထို႕ေၾကာင့္ အီးတူထ IDP ဒုကၡသည္စခန္းႏွင့္ ဖလာခိုေဒသရွိ ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားက ၎တို႕၏ကိုယ္ပိုင္ဆႏၵျဖင့္ ၎တို႕၏ ေနရပ္ဌာေနသို႕ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိရွိျဖင့္ လံုၿခံဳစိတ္ခ်စြာျပန္လည္ေနထိုင္ႏိုင္ရန္အတြက္ အဓိကလိုအပ္ ေသာေအာက္ပါေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားကို ေဆာင္ရြက္ေပးရန္ေတာင္းဆိုလိုက္ပါသည္။

(၁) ကြ်ႏ္ုပ္တို႕၏ ေက်းရြာ၊ ေတာင္ယာ၊ လယ္ေျမ၊ ဥယ်ာဥ္ၿခံႏွင့္ ကြ်ႏ္ုပ္တို႕၏အိမ္ျပန္လမ္းတစ္ေလွ်ာက္ရွိ ျမန္မာစစ္စခန္းမ်ားကို ရုတ္သိမ္းဖယ္ရွားေပးရန္၊ အထူးသျဖင့္ ေဖၚျပပါေျမပံုထဲတြင္ျပသထားသည့္ ျမန္ မာစစ္စခန္း ၁၇ ခုကို ရုတ္သိမ္းဖယ္ရွားေပးျခင္းမရွိပါက ဒုကၡသည္ႏွင့္ IDP မ်ား ေနရပ္ျပန္လည္ေန ထုိင္ေရးသည္ မည္သုိ႕မ်မျဖစ္ႏိုင္ပါ။

(၂) ကြ်ႏ္ုပ္တို႕၏ ေက်းရြာ၊ ေတာင္ယာ၊ လယ္ေျမ၊ ဥယ်ာဥ္ၿခံႏွင့္ လမ္းတစ္ေလွ်ာက္ရွိ ေျမျမဳွပ္မိုင္းမ်ားကို ဖယ္ရွားေပး ရန္။

(၃) လိင္ပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာအခြင့္အေရးေစာ္ကားခ်ိဳးေဖါက္မႈ၊ အတင္းအဓမၼခိုင္းေစမႈ၊ အတင္းအဓမၼဥစၥာပစၥည္း ေတာင္းယူမႈ၊ သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ၊ လယ္ယာေျမႏွင့္ ဥယ်ာဥ္ၿခံေျမဖ်က္စီးမႈ သုိ႕မဟုတ္ သိမ္းယူမႈ၊ ကဲ့သုိ႕ေသာ လူ႕အခြင့္အေရးခ်ိဳးေဖါက္မႈမ်ားကို အဆံုးသတ္ရပ္တန္႕ရန္။

(၄) တိုင္းရင္းသားနယ္ေျမအားလံုးတြင္ျဖစ္ပြားေနေသာ ျပည္တြင္းစစ္ကို ရပ္တန္႕အဆံုးသတ္ေပးရန္။

(၅) မန္မာႏိုင္ငံအစိုးရႏွင့္ တိုင္းရင္းသားလက္နက္ကိုင္အဖြဲ႕အစည္းမ်ား ႏွစ္ဦးႏွစ္ဖက္လိုက္နာရမည့္စစ္ ဖက္ဆိုင္ရာက်င့္ဝတ္စည္းကမ္းမ်ားကို ေသခ်ာစြာေစာင့္ၾကည့္ေလ့လာရန္။

(၆) ဒုကၡသည္ႏွင့္ IDP မ်ားေနရပ္ျပန္လည္ေနထိုင္ေရးသည္ ျပည့္စံုရွင္းလင္းစြာေရးဆြဲထားသည့္ျပန္လည္ ေနရာခ်ထားေရးအစီမ်ားပါဝင္သည့္ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးသေဘာတူညီမႈ၏ အစိတ္အပိုင္းတစ္ခုကဲ့သို႕ျဖစ္ရ မည္ျဖစ္ၿပီး IDP မ်ားေနရပ္ျပန္လည္ေနထိုင္ႏိုင္ေရးကို ဦးစားေပးရမည္ျဖစ္ကာ ျပန္လည္ေနရာခ်ထား ျခင္း၏ဂယက္ရိုက္ခတ္မွဳအားရင္ဆိုင္ရမည့္လူထုႏွင့္တစ္ကြ စစ္မွန္ေသာပူးေပါင္းပါဝင္မႈရွိရမည္ ။

KWO is in Urgent Need of a Volunteer

KWO is in urgent need of a volunteer who can come and work with us for a minimum of 6 months. Ideally, we would love a volunteer who is fluent in both the Karen language, as well as the English language. However, we are also happy if we can find a volunteer to work with us who is fluent in English and has good writing skills. We are looking for a volunteer who is between the age of 25 to 50.

It would be best if a volunteer has some experience in working in community or in humanitarian work. We are also looking for self-confidence and good physical health with some background knowledge of Burma, the Thai Burma border and our women’s movement. The volunteer would be expected to work 5 days a week and would be mostly based in our Mae Sariang office. KWO can provide shared accommodation in the KWO staff house, 3 meals a day and a bicycle for getting around the small town of Mae Sariang.

The work would mostly involve assisting with the editing of funding proposals and reports, occasionally summarizing important news or reports for the women in our organization to be able to understand them and assisting staff in writing emails. If the volunteer had some skills that were useful for our staff, we may also ask them to share these.

For Karen women living overseas (especially), this would be a great opportunity to get some hands on work experience in a development setting, as well as a wonderful opportunity to understand the current situation on the border and in Burma. This kind of experience is highly regarded by colleges as well as by employers.

Please contact us at : kwocentral@gmail.com 

KWO Conducted Monitoring Trip for Nursery School Project in Mu Traw District

On the 22nd of September a team of KWO Central leaders and staff conducted a monitoring trip to the Mu Traw District nursery schools located in Noh Paw Htee and Ken Daw villages supported by KWO. The team met with teachers and local KWO leaders responsible for the schools, observed schools in operation with teachers teaching, classroom management, student lunches and  hygiene.  They also observed the use of  teaching aids and other project related activities like student. profiles and attendance lists.

Please see some pictures below;

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KWO Update: Emergency Distributions to the new Internally Displaced People

Today, 22nd of September 2016

KWO team together with some other community supporters went to Naw Hta Village and distributed the emergency needs for the recent displaced people. All of the materials that we districted are shown in pictures below. 

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Follow up Updates on KWO Need Assessments in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta Villages

KWO conducted a need assessment in Htee Thay Khee and Naw Hta, between the 18 – 20 Sept 2016. The total number of IDPs is 530 and they are from Ler Peh Dea,Jay Baw Klo, Thay Kaw, Poe Chit Lea, Nya Mer Tay Hta, Oo Moo Kee and Mae Wah village.The latest number of newly displaced people in Htee Thay Khee is 146 people from 25 families, Naw Hta is 193 from 30 families and in Mae Law Hta is 16 people from 3 families and Mae Tha Waw is 175 people from 38 families.

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The villagers are in urgent need of food, clothing, pots, pans, plates, plastic sheets, water containers, shoes, blankets, mats, mosquito nets and other personal hygiene packages. For the moment this displaced people received some dried foods and clothing from the individuals donation. KWO is coordinating with other Karen CBOs and individuals to response to this emergency situations.

There has been serious fighting in the Mae Tha Waw area of Hpa An District. The Burma Army-proxy Border Guard Force (BGF) attacked a faction of the DKBA and since then the conflict has been going on throughout September.

 

If you interested to contribute please contact KWO at kwocentral@gmail.com or call KWO Emergency Relief Contact Person Naw Paw K’Yeh Moo at 66  857309056 for more information. 

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