Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
The Karen Community Association UK is holding a major event celebrating Karen culture in central London today. The event is held annually.
The cultural evening will be held in the St Ethelberga’s Peace and Reconciliation Centre, and will feature traditional Done dancing, singing, a Karen fashion show, and food. There will also be speeches including Saw Eh Htee Kaw who will share his experience of fleeing attacks by the Burmese Army, living as a refugee in Thailand and resettling in the UK. There will also be presentations about Karen culture and tradition. There is also a guest speaker, Dr. Win Naing, Chairperson of National League for Democracy –Liberated Area (UK branch).
This event is to promote Karen culture, raise awareness about the situation with the Karen people, and raise funds for the organisation. For decades, the Karen people have been suffering from crimes against humanity committed by the dictatorship in Burma including the destruction of villages, forced labour, sexual violence and forced displacement. Many Karen people in Karen State are now living as Internally Displaced People without proper food, shelter and medicine while Karen in Irrawaddy Delta and other parts of Burma face other forms of discrimination by the ruling regime.
“We would like to let the world know about what is going on with our people and ask for help. We hope this cultural event will help raise awareness and fund our work to help our people back home in Burma” said Shar Mwe Hla Tun, member of KCA- London.
Around 500 Karen people live in the UK and most came to the UK as part of the United Nations resettlement programme.
The Karen Community Association UK works to promote human rights and democracy in Burma, helps the Karen community settled in the UK and raises funds for refugees and internally displaced people.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
17 Aug 2010
Burma Campaign UK today called on Barclays to disclose in full all financial payments made involving Burma.
Barclays Bank has agreed to pay a $298m (£190m) fine for breaking US sanctions against several dictatorships. The bank had been charged with breaking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act between 1995 and 2006. The countries involved were Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, and Sudan.
“Barclays must come clean and reveal which banks in Burma it was doing business with, where the money came from, and where it went to,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “This is a very serious issue. Barclays have a lot of questions to answer. Burma’s generals, and their business cronies, are looting the country of wealth, hiding it in foreign bank accounts. Have Barclays helped them do this? We also need to know how the money was used. Were these financial transfers used for buying arms? Have Barclays helped arm a dictatorship which uses rape, torture and slave labour, and stands accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity?”
Burma Campaign UK is also concerned that the US government is not properly monitoring and implementing sanctions.
“Some people are arguing that we should be taking a softer line with Burma’s generals because sanctions have been tried and have failed,” said Mark Farmaner. “The truth is there are very few effective sanctions against the dictatorship in Burma, and now we find that even those few are not properly implemented.”
Burma Campaign UK is also writing to the British government asking them to investigate whether Barclays is in breach of Europe Union sanctions on Burma. The European Union has some limited financial sanctions, but none which are as strong as those imposed by the USA.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Today, The Karen Community Association UK commemorates the 60th Anniversary of Karen Martyrs’ Day at 12 noon in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
On August 12, 1950, Karen national leader Saw Ba U Gyi, who was the founder and president of the Karen National Union, was killed in an ambush along with eight of his colleagues in Kawkareik, Karen State (Burma), while waging a defensive struggle for freedom, national equality, democracy and peace. Since then August 12th has been commemorated as Karen Martyrs’ Day.
The Karen Community Association UK is commemorating this anniversary of Karen Martyrs Day to honor fallen leaders, soldiers, and civilians that have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and national equality.
“This commemoration shows our unity and struggle on until federal democracy is achieved” said Saw Taw Zan member of The Karen Community Association UK. “The United Nation has ignored us for many years. This is the time for UN to wake up and take practical steps to put pressure on the dictatorship to dialogue with the democracy movement and ethnic representatives”.
Before the commemoration the Karen Community Association UK is celebrating the Wrist-tying ceremony at 10:30AM. Traditionally The Wrist-tying ceremony takes place at the time of the August full moon. The Karen tie white thread around the wrists which invokes good spirits to exorcise illness, to bless, to guide and to protect in life’s journey. This custom represents a symbolic reinforcement of Karen identity and interdependence. The Karen Community Association UK celebrates this Wrist-tying ceremony to preserve the tradition, to unite one another and to keep our culture alive for new generation.
Friday, 13 August 2010
13 August 2010
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne urges military government to allow free and fair campaign and polling process.
In response to today's announcement of the date for elections in Burma to be held on 7 November 2010, Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said:
"These elections are set to be held under deeply oppressive conditions designed to perpetuate military rule. The Burmese people should have a real chance to vote for change. Instead, the first opportunity in twenty years for Burma's people to have a more open, stable and prosperous society has been missed.
It is not yet too late for the Burmese authorities to take credible steps to allow the citizens of the country to determine who should run their country. Today, I urge the Burmese military government to allow a free and fair campaign and polling process, to release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to instigate an inclusive dialogue with the full participation of all opposition and ethnic groups. Unless they do so, these elections will not have legitimacy or international credibility."
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
Sunday, 8 August 2010
By ALEX ELLGEE Saturday, August 7, 2010
MAE SOT — For months, Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has been pressuring the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) to become a border guard force (BGF) under Burmese military command. Now, however, it appears that the regime's efforts have backfired.
While two senior leaders of the DKBA, Gen Kyaw Than and Col Chit Thu, have opted to join the BGF, a third, Col Saw Lah Pwe, has taken an unequivocal stand against it.
“How could I betray my people?” he asked, explaining why he decided to break away from the DKBA with some 1,500 troops under his command and join forces with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the DKBA's longtime rival, from which the group split in 1994.
Saw Lah Pwe points to a map showing DKBA and SPDC positions. (Photo: Alex Ellgee/The Irrawaddy)
Karen Community Association UK would like to invite you to the 60th anniversary commemoration of Karen Martyrs’ Day.
Date & Time : Saturday 14th August 2010, 10:30 AM
Venue : Christ Church Hall, 257 Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, S3 9AQ , United Kingdom
Refreshment will be served after commemoration service.
For more information please contact Saw Lah Kei Htoo on 07576716422, firstname.lastname@example.org or Naw Dah Dah on 07599689473, email@example.com
Brief History of Karen Martyrs’ Day
On August 12, 1950, Karen national leader Saw Ba U Gyi, who was the founder and president of the Karen National Union (KNU), was assassinated along with eight of his colleagues in Kawkareik, Karen State (Burma) by Burmese Army. Since then August 12 is recognized as Karen National Martyrs’ Day.
On Martyrs Day Karen people all over the world commemorate and honour fallen leaders, soldiers, and civilians that have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom, democracy in
KNU is a democratic organization, committed for freedom and democracy for the Karen and all the people of Burma to establish a genuine federal Burma with peace and harmony.
Come and join us to commemorate our National Martyrs’ Day and learn more about our culture.
Thank you for your support. We hope to see you there.
Posted by KCA.UK at 18:19