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 ?
In constructing the pipeline, Unocal has allied itself with a brutal and illegitimate government in its decades-long war against three ethnic groups, the Mort, the Karen and the Tavoyan peoples.
was a way for the congregation's Karen families to give back to the church they now call home.
American Baptist missionary Francis Mason, who recorded the early years of missions in Myanmar for a Western audience, perceptively noted that "the introduction of Christianity among the Karens is, perhaps, too full of 'truth stranger than fiction' to be believed by those who have not been actors in the scenes themselves.
I grew up in Panaehperkho, a village in the mountainous regions of Karen State, Burma.
The leader of the Karen National Union (KNU), the largest ethnic rebel group in Myanmar, arrived in Yangon on Thursday for talks with Myanmar junta leaders on a cease-fire.
Most, if not all, of the God's Army followers are members of Burma's large ethnic Karen minority, which have long sought independence from the central government.
The 5ft 3ins Swede said she was moved into helping the Karens after she saw a badly wounded soldier in his 20s who had stepped on a land mine.
SAW WINNING AND WAH LAY RAY are amongst about 100 Karens who live in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Fortuna Gerrard, the fastest heat winner, can call the tune in the Pompey Chimes decider, with the fact that Tony Lucas's dog is drawn comfortably inside fellow early-pacer Karens Caper perhaps being key.
CONTACT: Karen Sklencar of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, +1-703-264-7529, or karens@aiaa.