KNPP Leader: Don’t Let Hate Speech Divide the Karenni People

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Communities marked the 144thKarenni National Day on June 21.

By KANTARAWADDY TIMES

Karenni people must be careful to avoid engaging in hate speech on social media, the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) leadership said on Karenni National Day on Friday.

Central executive committee member Khu Nyae Reh said he hoped the public would “be careful of hate speech around us,” when speaking at the 144thKarenni National Day commemoration at Kay Hto Bo ground in Loikaw Township’s Chikel village. Some 300 people attended the event.

“When we look at social media like Facebook, there is a lot of hate speech spreading. This can damage unity among us,” Khu Nyae Reh said in his opening speech.

“We are Karenni. We need unity among us. There are many big sub-tribes in the Karenni ethnic group. We recognize all of them, who have lived in Karenni State for so many years, as Karenni people. They are all Karenni.”

The national day aims to remember the losses of the Karenni nation, to continue the struggle for the right to self-determination and to promote unity between the different Karenni communities.

Those on the national day preparation committee said that they hoped Karenni youth would know their people’s past and understand how to build their state in the future.

“It’s important to know the real history… We have a separate history and we want to see it in the current implementation of peace process,” Palu Reh, chair of the Karenni National Day celebration preparation committee, told Kantarawaddy Times.

“We have to make sure other ethnic brothers understand it. I think we need a common political agreement. Then we will see how to create a Union in the future.”

The British government and the former Burmese king signed an agreement on June 21, 1875, recognizing the independent Karenni State.

Since that time, the Karenni people have marked June 21 as Karenni National Day. Karenni refugees also celebrated Karenni National Day in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Karenni people who have been resettled to third countries also commemorate the occasion every year.

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