Contact: Roland Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
KNU UPDATE RETRACTION
November 3, 2016
In my recent statement, Karen National Union Update, I made the following comment.
"For all of this, Mutu received over $2 million dollars from the European Union, channeled through Harn Yawnghwe's Euro-Burma Office..."
I retract this statement, and apologize to the parties concerned. I was in a rush to get it out, in advance of the KNU Central Committee meeting now underway, since I firmly oppose Mutu Say Poe's desire to postpone the KNU Congress. The statement was not properly edited. I should have waited, and excised this comment.
The information I have is as follows. It is from a source I trust, and I also understand the chain of the information from its originator to that source. (To protect confidentiality, I cannot reveal this chain.)
I have been told that both Mutu and Saw Johnny of the KNU, and perhaps other individuals as well, received money which in total exceeded $2 million, from the Myanmar Peace Center. It further seems that this money was not for legitimate causes, such as the KNU Liaison offices. I stand by this account, although I cannot verify it.
My attribution to Harn Yawnghwe and EBO was a mistake. I have been on the opposing side from EBO dating all the way back to its involvement in the ethnic alliance, ENSCC. But, differing opinions on a situation as complex as Burma are understandable. While EBO officials were clearly in regular contact with the KNU, I have no evidence whatsoever that they had any role in the payments.
The attribution to Europe was based on the fact that, to my knowledge, it was the primary funder of MPC. As has been reported, a lot of the MPC money has gone missing. Still, I have no evidence that European officials in any way knew about these payments to the KNU.
I would say, though, that Europe has played a dominant role in Burma's peace process, and in many different, and secret, ways. There should be a complete accounting of all the money that different European countries have donated for the peace process, including of the organizations through which it was channeled.