A new party aimed at representing ethnic Karens in the Irrawaddy Delta has been formed. The Karen National Party (KNP) announced last week its intention to register with the Union Election Commission at the end of this month and to contest the 2015 general elections.
“Our primary aim is to reflect the voices of Karen nationals,” said president of the new party, Mahn Thein Shwe. “Our next objective is to participate in the building of a federal democratic country.”
He said that 15 members had been elected to the central committee and that a party flag and seal had been chosen for the KNP.
Meanwhile, a Karen National Union (KNU) delegation led by Vice-Chairperson Naw Zipporah Sein has been making a public tour of the Irrawaddy region.
The delegation met with more than 100 delta Karens including religious leaders in Pantanaw Township where they held a meeting to explain the KNU’s position on the current peace process and negotiations with the Burmese government, said a Pantanaw source.
The Irrawaddy Delta has an estimated population of about 3.5 million, about half of whom are ethnic Karens.