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Grief Over Death of Karenni National Leader Khu Hteh Bu Phe

28 January 2011: Letters of condolences and sympathies were sent to the bereaved family of Khu Hteh Bu Phe, Chairman of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), 74, who died of neck cancer at Mae Hong Son Hospital in Thailand around 3pm yesterday.

The 74-year-old Karenni leader was said to have been suffering from the complications of his cancer for quite a long time, according to the family and passed away after receiving treatments from the hospital for a week.

His close friend and colleague, Victor Biak Lian of Chin Human Rights Organisation, said: “We have just lost another hero. He didn’t talk much but his presence at the meeting always made us feel strong and safe. He will be missed and remembered.”

In its condolence letter sent today, the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) said of deeply sharing the sorrow with the bereaved family and the Karenni people in this difficult moment, adding: “We will continue our struggle in the fight for equality, self-determination and federal democratic system in Burma as Khu Hte Bu Peh had led as ENC Chairman.”

Being responsible as Chairman of KNPP, and Prime Minister of Karenni government, Khu Hteh Bu Phe was also widely respected and known for his enormous contributions and works for strengthening greater unity between the ethnic nationalities and democracy movement in Burma.

Burma Campaign UK said in its letter of condolences that it pledges to continue to work for the fulfilment of Khu Hteh Bu Phe’s dream of a democratic Burma where the Karenni, and all the people of Burma, can live lives of peace and prosperity.

Khu Hteh Bu Phe was thought to be born on 13 February 1937 even though it was recorded as 1 April 1937 on his university student identity card. Completing his B.Sc degree from Rangoon University in 1960, he began working on the Karenni literature and was said to be in the process of preparing the Karenni dictionary by the time he passed away.

Following the biography of Hteh Bu Phe, KNPP said that they are going to confirm the real birthday of Hteh Bu Phe as February 13, 1937, according to the Kantarawaddy Times.

With his other significant involvements including the Ethnic Nationalities Council, Khu Hte Bu Peh had led the KNPP through difficult and challenging times for the Karenni people as well as other ethnic nationalities of Burma.

Van Biak Thang
[email protected]

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