Top-ranking military officials of the KNU/KNLA-PC Headquarters of Karen State, including battalion commanders and heads of villages, welcomed the Center for Development and Ethnic Studies (CDES) for a three-day Federalism and Peace Seminar-Workshop, first of its kind ever held at the Htooh Kaw Koo, KNU/KNLA-PC headquarters last June 15-17, 2016.
Resource speakers in the said forum namely Salai Ngun Lian Sang, CDES Project Coordinator, Moses, C. Tehlo, PhD Political Science, CDES Research Director, Col. Saw Kyaw Ngyunt, KNU/KNLA-PC, and Dr. Naw Ka Paw Htu, KNU/KNLA-PC General Secretary articulated their topics on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), the peace process and the importance of Upper house and State Constitutions in federal reforms; concepts in federalism and democracy, and decentralization in federal reforms; importance of power sharing between the Union and the State Governments in federal reforms; and the importance of gender equality in the peace process and federal reforms, respectively.
In addition, General Saw Hltaw Lae of the KNU/KNLA-PC, formally opened the workshop while Master Gen. Officer Brig Saw Yin Nu and Brig. General Dr. Naw Ka Paw Htu addressed the more than 60 participants in the seminar during the opening and closing ceremonies.
Primly uniformed army expressed that they are very good in fighting but not in politics, thus through the interactive discussions they realized the in-depth importance of political dialogue like the upcoming 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference in resolving Myanmar’s ethnic conflict. What concerns them most is the role of the Upper House and the Union Army in the future federal set-up of the country.
Books published by CDES on Federalism, Principles of Democracy and the NCA were distributed to the participants who blurted: said training was practical, realistic and needed to be echoed to all the battalions of army and youth as well as women leaders in the whole country.