Welcome to Kayin State
Almost from the moment Myanmar attained its independence in 1948, the Karen, the main ethnic group in Kayin State, started their battle for autonomy. Since 2012 a fragile ceasefire has been in place between the largest insurgent body, the Karen National Union (KNU), and the Burmese government. That has resulted in the welcome opening of the border with Thailand at Myawaddy. But the KNU's military component, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), continues to control parts of the north and east of the state and foreigners are barred from visiting those areas.