Karen civil society group vows to work for the common good

  • Written by Sa Eh Sue
  • Published in Karen State

Sa Eh Sue — The Karen State Civil Society Organization Network (KSCN) plans to increase cooperation between civil society organizations and local authorities so that local residents can receive full guarantee for their interests and rights.  This declaration was made at an event to mark the opening of the group's office on Wednesday.

The head of the Karen Affairs Committee, Saw Kyar Swar, who also serves as a KSCN member told the BNI Election Newsroom that in Karen State there had been lack of cooperation and mutual trust between local civil society organizations and the previous military government.  A pattern that continued under the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein.

“Our civil society organization will always carry out trust-building with local authorities. There is a lack of mutual trust between the government and the civil society [organizations]. Also, the local authorities have been weak in recognizing and welcoming civil society [organizations],” he said.

Saw Kyaw Swar added that the main aim of KSCN is to cooperate with the local authorities.  KSCN was formed with 13 civil society organizations in Karen State and its prime goal was to strengthen ties between civil society organizations in Karen State.

The NLD’s elected Upper House MP from Constituency No 12 Saw, Yar Phaung Awa says that more cooperation is better.  “I have found that interaction between the government and the CSOs was very weak during the previous government terms. The CSOs and the public always keep in touch. There are many sectors in which the elected candidates like us and the CSOs need to cooperate. We expect to always keep in touch with the CSOs,” he said.

The KSCN came into existence at the invitation of the Karen State Election Sub-Commission.  Its mandate at the beginning was to give voter education. Over 30 officials from CSOs and the government attended the opening of the KSCN office.