Kawthoolei – The Karen National Union (KNU) – True Report



Kawthoolei – The Karen National Union (KNU) – True Report

The Fight for independence from Burma since 1948


Kawthoolei – The Karen National Union (KNU) – True Report
The Fight for independence from Burma since 1948

Heinz Duthel, ex Legionaire, twice Consul of Angola in France and Uganda in Germany and France spend his life as one of the last German Mercenary, before taking refuge in Far East in 1992.

Heinz Duthel, appointed by General Boa Mya as Full Rank Colonel
Appointed as Special Ambassador to the United Nation an Negotiator between the KNLA and the CIA in Bangkok.
Appointed as Military Attache on October 22, 1987.
Appointed as personal advisor to General Boa Mya and counseller to the Government by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
All original Documents, signed by the KNU and General Boa Mya are included in this book.


The Karen National Union (KNU) is an armed group operating in the border area between Myanmar and Thailand. In Karen, this area is called Kawthoolei. The KNU has been fighting the Burmese government since 1948 through its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

The KNU was dominated in the last three decades by Bo Mya, who was president from 1976-2000. The KNU was for many years able to fund its activities by controlling black market trade across the border with Thailand. After a failed 8888 Uprising of the Burmese people in 1988, the Burmese military government turned to China for help. Various economic concessions were offered to China in exchange for weapons. The Burmese Army was massively expanded and began to offer deals to groups fighting the government. The groups were offered the choice of cooperating with the military junta or being destroyed.

The KNU’s effectiveness was severely diminished after the fall of its headquarters at Manerplaw, near the Thai border, in 1994. At that time, a group of Buddhist soldiers in the KNLA went over to the side of the Burmese military junta. This group, known as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), was given territory inside of Burma to rule over in exchange. They played a significant part in the capture of Manerplaw. While the DKBA claims to be fighting against anti-Buddhist discrimination inside the KNU, it is in practice the small private army of a warlord in alliance with the Burmese military junta.[citation needed]

Since then, the KNU and KNLA have continued to fight the Myanmar state military (Tatmadaw) by forming guerilla units and basing themselves in temporary jungle camps on the Thai-Burma border, but their resistance is increasingly regarded as at best tokenistic given the massive expansion of the Tatmadaw since the 1988 uprising against the government. While the junta is capable of wiping out the KNLA, it prefers that they continue to exist so as to justify the size of the military budget and military rule within Burma.[citation needed]

Several attempts have been made to conclude a form of peace with Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), but with little success.

The Karen conflict is the longest war of independence in the world, having been waged for 58 years


Heinz Duthel

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