In the 1960s and 1970s, the KNU
operated as the de facto government of a small state in areas of present-day Kayin (Karen) State.
education system emphasizes a clearly articulated Karen identity, with regard to the Bamar-dominated society.
It consists of a dozen or so people staying in KNU
areas near the Thai border and should not be confused with the the Arakan Army, which fights alongside the Kachin Independence Army, KIA, in the north.
In addition to the decorations, the evening's entertainment illustrated the intrusion of KNU
imagery in the way lakhao knaing dju is held.
Saw Kawe Htoo Win, a senior KNU
delegation member who stayed behind in Yangon, said some other KNU
peace delegation members, under arrangement of the authorities, flew to the administrative capital Naypyitaw on Saturday to meet the president in person.
By the '80s, the KNU
claimed that its annual income, from taxing smuggled products flowing through the porous Thai border, was in the tens of millions of dollars a year.
Mahn Sha was considered as the top leader of the KNU
, an ethnic political movement supporting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) and other democratic opposition parties in Burma.
Since 1994, when Buddhist members split away from the KNU
(Karen National Union) to organize the pro-Government Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), there have been armed conflicts between the DKBA and the predominately Christian antigovernment KNU
Hence, it would seem that the forcibly displaced peoples are under the "protection" of the KNU
or the Burmese state; however, the two controlled-areas have always been contentious.
Across the border, the KNU
, a Karen ethnic guerrilla army, recruits ex-child soldiers who have escaped from the Myanmar military forces.
Wounded twice in combat and tired of the fighting, he has escaped to Mae Sot now because a recent informal ceasefire between the Burmese military and the Karen resistance left Htun wondering what an actual negotiated settlement between the SPDC and KNU
might mean for him and other members of the student opposition.
She is now a sergeant in the Karen National Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Karen National Union, or KNU
, based in the Burmese jungle.