Karen leader says inexperience responsible for defection

Apr 21, 2009 (DVB), A senior member of Burma's principal armed opposition group has said that inferior military and political experience was responsible for the recent defection of the son of a former group leader to the government.

Nay Soe Mya, son of the late Karen National Union leader, Bo Mya, absconded from the KNU in March, along with 88 other KNU members.

Reacting to a television interview in which Nay Soe Mya explained his reasons for leaving, the KNU joint secretary (2), Pado Saw Hla Ngwe, said his inexperience was responsible.

"We have always regarded Nay Soe Mya as a child to us since his military and political experience and general knowledge stood around that level compared to ours," said Saw Hla Ngwe.

"[He] is only a black sheep who senselessly speaks of things because he doesn't understand them."

During an interview with the state-run MRTV, Nay Soe Mya said he was taking steps to realise his father's plan for national reconciliation by switching to the government's side.

Saw Hla Ngwe said however that it had always been the KNU's aim to have its own federal government in Karen state, and would not accept any alternatives.

The military government has stepped up its attacks on armed ethnic opposition groups in an effort to bring them under its 'legal fold' and deny them self-governance.

"Nay Soe Mya stayed close to his father before his death and I don't understand how he still could misinterpret what the old man told to him," said Saw Hla Ngwe.

Reporting by Thurein Soe

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