National Equality Award Presented to Karen Leader Padoh Mahn Sha
05 March 2011: Assassinated ethnic Karen leader Padoh Mahn Sha La Phan is to be given the ‘National Equality’ award in a conference to be held in Fort Wayne, USA today where his youngest son, Slone Phan, will receive on behalf of his father.
The award is presented by the Institution of International Burmese Democratic Forces and the International Education of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) in honour of Padoh Mahn Sha’s life-long commitment and brave struggle for equality and democracy in Burma.
Adding to the reason why the award is given to him, the organisers stated: “You have truly been a hero for National Equality.”
Upon receiving the award, Slone Phan is to tell the conference that Burma’s military dictatorship killed his father because of what he stood for, which was strength and unity in the struggle for freedom, adding: “By giving him this award, you are not just recognising his work but also making sure the world does not forget about him.”
His four children founded the ‘Phan Foundation’ in February 2008 in memory of their father, Padoh Mahn Sha, General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), who was assassinated on 14 February 2008 and mother Nant Kyin Shwe.
The foundation is dedicated to promoting human rights, protecting Karen culture, fighting poverty, and providing education for the Karen people of Burma.
Born on 5 July 1943 in Taw Gyaung, Maubin District of Ayeyarwady Division, Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan was educated at the University of Yangon. He had been fighting against Burma’s military regime until his assassination at his home in Mae Sot, the Thai-Burma border town.
Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, 64, was the Secretary-General of KNU, the largest ethnic insurgent group in Burma fighting for the a federal system and for the freedom of Karen people since 1949.
Van Biak Thang