Karen army peace council leader dies

Karen army peace council leader dies

Neso Mya, leader of the Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council
Neso Mya, leader of the Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council

Neso Mya, leader of the Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council (KNLA PC), has died of Covid-19, according to a source on the Thai-Myanmar border.

Col Saw Nay Soe Mya, 48, a son of the late Gen Bo Mya, a longstanding former leader of Myanmar's largest guerrilla group and chairman of the Karen National Union, contracted the virus and died.

He was an important figure in the KNLA PC, who dedicated his life to working for the Kawthoolei, a proposed state that the ethnic Karen people in Myanmar have sought to establish since the beginning of the Karen conflict in the late 1940s.

He is the younger brother of Nerdah Bo Mya, a major general and chief of the Karen National Defence Organization.

Karen forces have announced the passing of Col Saw Nay Soe Mya and ordered troops and the public to stay put.

People are asked to hold a remembrance at home as no central religious ceremony will be held.

Col Saw Nay Soe Mya is the youngest son of Gen Bo Mya. He joined the KNLA PC six years ago and was instrumental in the consolidation of the Karen people in their pursuit of a peaceful solution to the conflict with the Myanmar government.

He advocated trade in place of an armed struggle and the cause for peace has gained ground, according to the source.

Col Saw Nay Soe Mya was treated for Covid-19 at a privately-run hospital in Mae Sot district of Tak. He died on Tuesday after less than a week of treatment.

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