The Nightmare Returns: Karen Hopes for Peace and Stability Dashed by Burma Army’s Actions

On March 4th, the Burma Army began the largest and most coordinated deployment of troops into Karen State’s Mutraw (Hpapun) district since 2008, breaching the terms of the NCA and provoking multiple clashes with the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) 5th Brigade. Burma Army soldiers have indiscriminately targeted civilians while more than 2,400 villagers have been forced to flee their land and homes. The majority of those displaced by the Burma Army’s current operations had only recently returned to rebuild their villages, farms, and livelihoods following decades attacks by the Burma Army and displacement in the area.

The KNU and Burma Army are both signatories to the 2015 NCA, which prohibits the expansion of military infrastructure and troop reinforcements in ceasefire areas. However, since March 4th, at least eight Burma Army battalions have entered Luthaw, without the required prior agreement  from the KNLA, and begun constructing a military operations road to connect their military bases. If the road is built, Indigenous Karen villagers may be permanently displaced from their homes and ancestral village territories.

KPSN Media Release The Nightmare Returns

The Nightmare Returns – English version

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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 Statement on International Women’s Day

KWO Statement in Karen Version:

KWO Statement in English Version:

 

KWO Campaign, Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children, 16 Days of Activism

On the 23rd of November, KWO members and leaders were excited to launch our 16 day International Days for the Elimination of Violence against Women Campaign.  The KWO campaign focus this year, is  “Stop Domestic Violence Against Women and Children”.  We will have activities in 7 Karen Refugees Camps and 7 districts in Karen State for members of our community to participate in.  Below are photos from the launch.

 

Sponsor a teacher : For one dollar a day!

For one dollar a day Every child is entitled to an education and to live as full a life as possible. Refugee children with, or without, disabilities deserve the same. Indigenous Karen people from Burma have lived as refugees in camps in Thailand for a long time. We formed the Karen Women’s Organization to strengthen and serve our community. There were no Special Education services in our homeland, nor in the refugee camps. Children with disability were at home, often sitting in a dark corner, and their parents had no support. So we organized ourselves and built a project to provide services and support to children with special needs. We trained refugee women to work with our disabled children and to support parents. We raised money. And we have changed lives. Tragically, our financial support has been severely reduced as other refugee crises have pulled resources.

Do not Abandon us (English Subtitle)

Published on Jun 20, 2017

To commemorate the World Refugee Day on 20th June 2017, standing together with refugees, the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) would like to share the voices and concerns of Karen Refugees along the Thai -Burma border.

The video “Don’t abandon us” tells the story of refugees who are facing cuts in humanitarian aid while being encouraged to return before their homeland is secure. The video documentary was filmed in two Karen Refugee camps, Mae La Oon and Mae Ra Ma Luang.

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 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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