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KNWO Press Release: Karenni Women at the Border Hold First Convention Back Home

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June 16, 2013—Mae Hong Son, Thailand – Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO), the leading women’s organization along the border in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, announces the launch of its first Karenni All Women Convention, “Together as One,” in Karenni State, Myanmar on June 19 – 21, 2013. KNWO chairperson Thoe Myar Mi Nyo says that this first gathering would be a good sign that Karenni women along the border of Thailand and Burma see Burma’s government to seemingly open its door for the eventual return of Karenni people after over two decades of taking sanctuary along the border. Thoe Myar Mi Nyo elaborated that, “Right now people in Burma are talking about peace and we are a bit adamant about it, which is why KNWO organized this gathering in order for us to know and feel the situations inside Karenni state. It is also a forum for many Karenni women, youth, and men to share the political and socio-cultural and women’s conditions inside Karenni State, and for the women along the border to share their living conditions and women’s situation along the border.”

“This convention aims to gather people together as part of the peace building process. We will come up with recommendations that we intend to submit to the government and perhaps the international community to somehow put pressures for policy changes to protect women and children in Karenni State,” Thoe Myar Mi Nyo added. “We hope that our convention runs smoothly and that there will be no presence of any military in our convention; we will maintain friendly relations and negotiate with the government of Burma to allow us to have a peaceful gathering and talk of our future. In case there will be military presence in the convention, we really just hope that we feel comfortable with the convention and no untoward incident will happen. We only want peace, no pressures nor any threats.”

The Convention will come up with working mechanisms and a framework with women organizations and CBOs in Karenni State as a foundation for when KNWO finally works inside Burma. The Karenni All Women Convention will draw around 300 delegates from 4 townships (De Maw Saw, Pruso, Loikaw, and Shar Daw), the local government, representatives of international organizations, and Karenni refugees from Mae Hong Son.

KNWO will hold press conferences in Mae Hong Son on June 16, and Dee Maw Sho on June 20.

 

For further information please contact:

Thoe Myar Mi Nyo:  Chairperson KNWO

Mie Mie:  General Secretary KNWO

Telephone Number: 080-67838315 or 085-721-3860

Loikaw Contact: 09421763242