Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council (KNU/KNLA PC [KPC])

Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (Peace Council) KNU/KNLA PC (KPC)



Founded: February 11th, 2007

Headquarters: Kawkareik, Kayin State.

Active Regions: Kayin State – Kawkareik, Hlaingbwe.

Size: Over 500

Chairman: General Saw Htaw Lay
General Secretary: Dr. Naw Ka Paw Htoo

The Karen National Liberation Army (Peace Council) KNU/KNLA PC was formed under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Saw Htein Maung after he was expelled from the KNU Central Committee for initiating peace talks with the military government without KNU approval. The group signed a ceasefire agreement with the military government in early February 2007. In February 2012, the group signed peace agreements at the state and union levels with the U Thein Sein administration. It also signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on October 15th, 2015, and participated in the peace process in Myanmar under the NCA.

The KPC participated in the reunification conference of the Kayin armed forces in 2016 and agreed to remain under the political guidance of the KNU central committee. In January 2018, an announcement by the Tatmadaw that the KPC was trading weapons for peace caused a rift between the Tatmadaw and the KPC during the peace process.

After General Saw Htein Maung passed away on May 3rd, 2020, Vice-chairman General Saw Htaw Lay was elected chairman and continued to lead the KPC. General Saw Htaw Lay said on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the Peace Council that there were obstacles and challenges. He said that the lack of full participation of all ethnic armed groups in the NCA was a major challenge for peace and political dialogue.

Following the February 2021 military coup, there were informal meetings between the KPC and the SAC. The KPC remains a member of the Peace Process Steering Team (PPST).

Ceasefires and Peace Process
9th EAO to sign a ceasefire agreement
Step 1 – State-level Ceasefire Agreement (February 7, 2012)
Step 2 – Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (October 15, 2015)
Former Ceasefire agreement – February 11, 2017

Official Representative Team
Saw Htay Maung
Dr. Temawthay Lat Lam
Saw Yin Nu
Dr. Naw Kapaw Htoo
Saw El Kyaw Htoo
Dr. Saw Aung Than
Naw Karen Na

Liaison Offices
1. Mandalay
2. Phaya Thone Su

Karen armed groups

The KNU/KNLA Peace Council’s aim and determination are:

  1. To stop all kinds of military offenses against the Karen including stopping atrocities, forced labor and any form of human rights abuse.
  2. To regain the Karen land.
  3. To solve the refugees and IDP problem by allowing refugees to return to their homeland to live peacefully under the care of the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (not under the Burmese military). Allowing UNHCR, NGOs and other aid agencies to have access to take care of rebuilding the Karen community.
  4. To allow Karen to cultivate our own land and utilize our own natural resources to develop the Karen state. That includes infrastructure, farming, tourism, fisheries, import /export trade, schools, hospitals, medical care etc.
  5. To allow Karen to freely practice religious and cultural celebrations including Karen National Day, Martyrs Day, Karen New Year etc.
  6. To hold the legal right to have our own arms and set up our own Karen army forces to protect the safety and peaceful living of our own people. Recognition of both the Karen National Flag and Military Flag.
  7. To support non-violent activity that will bring political change to Democracy and the Karen to hold the right to develop our own Democratic society within our own State as well as Burma as a whole.

Ceasefire & Peace Process

9th ceasefire signing group.
Stage 1: State level ceasefire 7 Feb 2012
Stage 2: NCA signed on 15 October 2015
Previous ceasefire: 11 Feb 2017
Official delegation team: Saw Htay Maung
Dr. Timothy Laklem, Saw Yin Nu, Dr. Naw Ka Paw Htoo, Saw Eh Kaw Htoo, Saw Joseph
Dr. Saw Aung Than, Naw Karen Na

Official delegation team

Saw Htay Maung, Dr. Timothy Laklem, Saw Ray Nu, Dr. Naw Ka Paw Htoo, Saw Eh Kaw Htoo, Saw Joseph, Dr. Saw Aung Than, Naw Karen Ma

Liaison offices

1. Myawaddy
2. Paya Thone Sue

Alliances: Karen armed groups



 #  Date  Location  Armed Group Rep  Govt Rep  Details
1 07/02/2012 Naypyidaw Htay Maung Aung Thaung Signed State level 7-point ceasefire
KPC delegates: central committee members Dr. Timothy, U Saw Yin Nu, Dr. Naw Kapaw Htoo, U Saw El Kaw Htoo, U Saw Joseph, Rev Dr. Saw Aung Than Hnit and Naw Kharin Nar
Govt Delegates: U Thein Zaw, Union Minister U Ohn Myint, Kayan Township Pyithu Hluttaw representative U Maung Maung Thein, Deputy Minister Maj-Gen Zaw Win, Deputy Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Kayin state minister for Security and Border Affairs Col Aung Lwin, Lt-Col Zaw Naing Oo of the Commander-in-Chief’s Office, Director-General U Htay Aung of Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and member of the peace negotiation team U Saw Khin Soe
2 21/1/2013 Pa-an, Karen state Htay Maung Aung Min The government requested the KPC to become a political party and surrender arms, however, the KPC rejected and will try to discuss the issues further.
3 27/1/2014 Thaton township Brid Gen Saw Kyaw Lin (Brigade 1) Ohn Myint – State Minister Mon Mon prime minister Ohn Myint and KNU brigade 1 meet in thaton township for cooperation of rural and village development.


Agreed points:

  • Members of KNU/KNLA Peace Council are allowed to maintain a presence at Maela Hta and Tokawko village
  • Travel across borders with weapons after mutual pre-negotiations
  • Provide accommodation to “region peace and development troops”
  • Continue to negotiate until a permanent peace deal has been reached.
  • State will allow and render assistance for self-reliant undertakings for quickly fulfilling the basic needs, education, health, transport, water and electricity supply in the area for resettlement of national races that are residing in another country and render assistance for self-reliance


  • to cease of military operations in the region
  • more development of border trade and regional infrastructure
  • more exploration and trade licenses for timber and mineral extraction to avoid exploitation from Thailand
  • tourism


Aug 17, 2015 – KNU, DKBA, KNU/KNLA Peace Council, and RCSS released a joint statement on signing the NCA

Oct 13, 2014 – KAF Agreement in Burmese

Oct 13, 2014 – KAF Statement in Burmese

Oct 13, 2014 – KAF Statement in English

Sep 17, 2014 – KNU peace council statement

Sep 14, 2014 – Myanmar army order knu peace council

Jun 09, 2014 – Clarification statement of KPC on Padoh Mahn Nyein Maung’s speech

Feb 10, 2012 – KNU/KNLA Peace council letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Apr 28, 2010 – KNU/KNLA Peace Council request all levels of the government to work them for a prosperous future

Apr 07, 2010 – KNU/KNLA Peace Council’s Response To 22nd April Deadline Of Merger With Burma Army

Apr 04, 2010 – Reasons for refusing Border Guard force (BGF)


10/02/2012 KNU/KNLA Peace Council met with Aung San Suu Kyi

10/03/2012 KNU/KNLA Peace Council met with Maj. Saw Hla Ngwe, joint secretary of the KNU

Reference: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process – A Reference Guide (2021 – 2022)


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