Karen National Union (KNU) issued a press statement which says that the organization condemns the prohibition of holding a public meeting for the awareness of peace work held in the KNU 3d Brigade controlled area by a 5-member team led by an officer of the Tatmadaw (government defence services).
This mass meeting was held on February 4 by the KNU 7th Battalion at Bawkataw Camp in Sawhti Township but then the Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 124 came and prohibited the meeting.
Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of ceasefire Secretary (1), Dr. Sui Kher, said, “Under the terms of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), these mass meetings must be held but we have to look into what type of mass meetings they held. Some meetings need prior permission from the concerned authority. We don’t know yet about it but they can hold mass meetings concerning peace and ceasefire affairs freely. Trust building is crucial in peace efforts. It will be very difficult to build trust when there are suspicions.”
In the statement issued by KNU, it says that this act done by Tatmadaw is in fact forbidding the peace process and KNU assumes that Tatmadaw is not abiding by the terms agreed in NCA and results of bilateral talks between them.
Regarding this incident, Mizzima contacted Tatmadaw True News Information Team Secretary Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun and Col. Kyaw Soe Moe from Southern Military Command by phone but to no avail.
KNU is the signatory of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).