THE PEOPLE OF 2004
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THE PEOPLE OF 2004


By The Irrawaddy DECEMBER, 2004 - VOLUME 12 NO.11


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(Page 16 of 25)

 

Newsmakers of 2004________________________________

Gen Bo Mya (Karen rebel leader)

 

Gen Bo Mya, 77, was given a rare red carpet reception when he visited the now-deposed prime minister and military intelligence chief, Gen Khin Nyunt in Rangoon earlier this year.

 

Gen Bo MyaThe visit by the Karen general, who had been fighting Rangoon for more than 40 years, generated much controversy, as it had not previously been approved by the Karen National Union, or KNU. In typical Bo Mya style, the general made the unilateral decision to go to Rangoon after meeting with negotiators sent by the junta. The trip was backed by Thai army generals who wanted to see peace between the Karen and the Burmese government.

 

Initially, some reports indicated that the Karen leadership was divided, with many withholding support for Bo Mya’s trip.

 

The visit resulted in the so-called “gentleman’s ceasefire.”

 

After returning from Rangoon, Bo Mya fell ill and was hospitalized for several months. The KNU says it will continue to hold talks with Rangoon, despite continued fighting in Karen State. But with the demise of the OCMI, which had been instrumental in the ceasefire talks with the KNU, it is uncertain how the talks will continue.

 

At the recent KNU thirteenth congress in Karen State, Bo Mya relinquished the deputy chairmanship but retains control of the defense department. He was succeeded as deputy chairman by Gen Tamla Baw.



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