Lt. Gen. Saw Moe Shay is likely to succeed Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) Chief of Staff Gen. Saw Lah Pwe who recently died of throat cancer at Bago General Hospital.
DKBA commander Lt. Col. Saw Sein Win told Mizzima that the decision on the matter will be taken at the CO meeting after the funeral of Saw Lah Pwe.
“He [Saw Moe Shay] currently holds the position of [acting]Chief of Staff so we guess he will succeed in getting this post. He is good at organizing and is well respected by our organization. So we speculate he will get this post. The final decision will be taken at the meeting,” he said.
Gen. Saw LahPwe (54) died on 13 March of throat cancer and his remains are being kept at his residence in the DKBA HQ. He will be buried on 19 March.
Despite the death of Gen. Saw Lah Pwe, the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed with the government would be implemented as agreed and the DKBA would carry out his ambitions and objectives of peace and development, Lt. Col. Saw Sein Win said.
“The demise of our leader is a great loss to our organization but we will continue the implementation of his objectives of marching along the path to peace. This is our task. The main objective of this task is development in the region and a better life and livelihood for the people,” he added.
Gen. Saw Lah Pwe signed the NCA in Naypyitaw on October 15, 2015, together with seven other ethnic armed organizations.
Though his health deteriorated after 2013 he was able to accomplish his objective of signing the NCA and restoring peace and conducting development work in the region under his control. Previously Sandawshin Mulaei Mountain near the East Dawna mountain range could only be reached only on foot but now because of his development work in the region it can be reached by car. Similarly, he built roads, bridges, schools, monasteries, pagodas and churches in the area under his control, Lt. Col. Saw Sein Win said.
Brig. Gen. Saw Lah Pwe first joined the Karen National Union (KNU) 7th Brigade and was promoted to Company Commander in 7th Battalion under 6th Brigade.
He was born in PaiKyone, Hlaingbwe Township and was popularly known among the public as Brig. Gen. Moustache. The government forced the rest of the DKBA to convert to a Border Guard Force (BGF) but he refused and finally signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in November 2011.
His funeral cortege will leave his residence on March 19 at 12 noon and the funeral will be conducted with full military honours he will be buried at 2 p.m.