Sunday, August 15, 2010

Karen in UK Commemorate 60th Anniversary of Karen Martyrs’ Day - Sheffield UK

Media Release From Karen Community Association UK

14 August 2010

Today, The Karen Community Association UK commemorates the 60th Anniversary of Karen Martyrs’ Day at 12 noon in Sheffield, United Kingdom.

On August 12, 1950, Karen national leader Saw Ba U Gyi, who was the founder and president of the Karen National Union, was killed in an ambush along with eight of his colleagues in Kawkareik, Karen State (Burma), while waging a defensive struggle for freedom, national equality, democracy
and peace. Since then August 12th has been commemorated as Karen Martyrs’ Day.

The Karen Community Association UK is commemorating this anniversary of Karen Martyrs Day to honor fallen leaders, soldiers, and civilians that have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and national equality.

“This commemoration shows our unity and struggle on until federal democracy is achieved” said Saw Taw Zan member of The Karen Community Association UK. “The United Nation has ignored us for many years. This is the time for UN to wake up and take practical steps to put pressure on the dictatorship to dialogue with the democracy movement and ethnic representatives”.

Before the commemoration the Karen Community Association UK is celebrating the Wrist-tying ceremony at 10:30AM. Traditionally The Wrist-tying ceremony takes place at the time of the August full moon. The Karen tie white thread around the wrists which invokes good spirits to exorcise illness, to bless, to guide and to protect in life’s journey. This custom represents a symbolic reinforcement of Karen identity and interdependence. The Karen Community Association UK celebrates this Wrist-tying ceremony to preserve the tradition, to unite one another and to keep our culture alive for new generation.

The Karen Community Association UK was founded in 2006 and now we have three branches in UK. KCA Bolton & Bury, London and Sheffield. The Karen Community Association represents the Karen Community in the UK. It assists the community with problems they face coming to live in the UK, raises awareness about the situation in Burma, raises money to help refugees and internally displaced people, and campaigns for action by the international community. KCA UK also aims to promote unity among the Karen and at the same time preserve and promote our culture, literature and language in UK.