Thursday, February 14, 2008

Burma - Rebel Leader Murdered

From the BBC:

The secretary general of Burma's largest rebel group, the Karen National Union, has been killed.
Pado Mahn Shar, who was in his sixties, was shot at his home in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, his family said.

He was targetted by two men in a pick-up truck, while sitting on the veranda of his home. He died instantly.

The KNU and its military wing, the Karen National Liberation Army, have spent nearly 60 years fighting the Burmese government.

From The Burma Campaign:

Statement from the children of Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan
14 Feb 2008

We are very sad to lose a great father and a great leader.

We were lucky to have a father who was caring and full of love. He gave us guidance and support, and taught us tolerance and to stand against injustice. He could not give us wealth or luxury, but ensured that we had an education and the opportunity to fulfill our potential

He was always humble, yet a strong and brave leader. He dedicated his life to the struggle, and always put the welfare of his people and his country before himself. His example of determination and self-sacrifice to win our freedom won him the love and respect of not just the Karen people, but also the Burmese democracy movement and of freedom loving people around the world.

He will be remembered by many not only as an inspirational leader, but also on a personal level for the many acts of kindness he performed for those who needed help.

We are proud to be his children, as all Karen people and all people who long for freedom in Burma are proud of him.

Our father may be dead, but we will remember him. He taught us that it was our duty to work for the Karen people, and as his children we will continue his dedicated work towards true freedom for our people and peace in our country.

His determination for freedom and democracy lives on within us and within the Karen people. He did not live to see freedom for our people, but his dream will be fulfilled. The Karen, and all the people of Burma, will be free.

We will be establishing a foundation in memory of our father. For the time being, donations can be made online at

Saw Say Say
Nant Bwa Bwa Phan
Nant Zoya Phan
Slone Phan

A brief biography of Padoh Mahn Sha

Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan was born in Rangoon on 5th July 1943.
He graduated from Rangoon University in 1966 with a degree in history.
He joined the Karen National Union (KNU) in 1963. In 1964 he became a member of the KNU Central Committee, and was elected Joint General Secretary in 1995. He was elected General Secretary in 2000, and is also a member of the Secretariat of the National Council of the Union of Burma, the umbrella organisation representing organisations in the Burmese democracy movement.

Padoh Mahn Sha married Nant Kyin Shwe in 1976. She passed away on 31st July 2004. He is survived by four children, two sons and two daughters; Saw Say Say, Nant Bwa Bwa Phan, Nant Zoya Phan, Slone Phan.