Karens


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Karens

(kərĕnz`), members of a Thai-Chinese cultural group, one of the most important minorities in Myanmar, living in the Kayah StateKayah State
, formerly Karenni State
, state (1983 pop. 168,355), 4,506 sq mi (11,671 sq km), E Myanmar, on the Thai border. Loikaw is the capital. The terrain is mountainous and is traversed by the Thanlwin (Salween), the principal river.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Kayin State, TanintharyiTanintharyi
, formerly Tenasserim
, region (1983 pop. 917,628), 21,297 sq mi (55,159 sq km), extreme S Myanmar. Dawei (Tavoy), the capital, and Myeik (Mergui) are the chief towns.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and the Ayeyarwady delta. They form 7% of Myanmar's population. The Karen hill tribes have tended to remain animistic, but among those settled in the plains there are about many Buddhists and Christians. The Karens speak the Karen languages of the Sino-Tibetan family. They are mostly farmers, but Karen tribespeople were superior soldiers in the military units raised in Myanmar under British rule.

A major unifying element among the Karens is a strong opposition to Burmese political domination. Their revolt (1948–49) against the union government aimed at separation from Myanmar. They scored important successes, and the government was forced to grant the Karenni State (later Kayah State) a large measure of autonomy. The Karens continued their rebellion through the 1990s, by which time, however, there were only an estimated 4,000 active guerrillas. Between 1995 and 1997 the Karen rebels suffered setbacks when government forces mounted significant offenses against them. Apparently promising negotiations in 2004 ultimately failed, and new offensive operations followed. Negotiations in 2011, however, led to a cease-fire that was signed by both sides in 2012.

References in periodicals archive ?
She grew up hearing her mother's songs of age-old Karen enslavement at the hands of the Burmese, the country's majority ethnic group ("They took our alphabet and holy books"), and saw her father disemboweled by Burmese bandits in their village home.
com)-- NC COIN (North Carolina Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology) is pleased to announce the promotion of Karen Shank to Business Development Director.
Les violations des droits de l'Homme restent une menace serieuse pour les civils en Etat karen, dans l'est de la Birmanie, en depit du cessez-le-feu signe entre la rebellion et le pouvoir, a estime hier mardi un rapport d'une organisation humanitaire.
Historically, the inability of civilian government to tackle these insurgencies, particularly by the Karens, Kachins and Shans, in 1962 had provided a valid reason for the army to usurp power.
While the British accepted recruits from all ethnic groups, most were drawn from the so-called hill tribes, the Chin, Kachins, Karens and Shan.
Supply of different brand passenger vehicles, van vehicles and microbuses including (a) two high deck van vehicles, (b) fourteen Chevrolet Optra vehicles, (c) sixty two Kia Karens passenger vehicles, also (d) one Toyota 15 passengers microbus air conditioned of recent models.
Instead we Brits will get a new seven-seat Karens in 2012 together with a seven-seat version of the new Sorento.
The treatment of the Kachins, Karens, and Chins could be viewed as indicative of the worst feature of the Burman character.
The junta wants the KNU to surrender outright while the Karens, who have 60,000 members in Kayin State, seek autonomy under a federal system.
Shans, Karens, Rohingya, Arakanese, Kachins, Chins, Mons, and many other smaller indigenous ethnic groups form about 30% of the population.
Donald Mackenzie Smeaton mentioned in a footnote in his Loyal Karens of Burma that "The pacification of Burma will be no easy task .