Meaning "Field of Victory," Manerplaw was established as the headquarters of the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed force, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), in 1975. It was located in what seemed to be an impregnable position: To the east was the Moei River, which formed the border with Thailand, while to the west was the Salween (Thanlwin) River, and to the south and west, the Dawna Range. Manerplaw became the headquarters of the National Democratic Front (NDF), an alliance of noncommunist ethnic minority armed groups, in 1976, and of the Democratic Alliance of Burma in 1988. It was also the site where the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma was proclaimed in December 1990.
   Given its location just inside the Burmese border and its status as the "capital" of the ethnic minority and Burman (Bamar) opposition, Manerplaw became the objective of a massive offensive by the Tatmadaw in 1992; it failed but left the KNLA gravely weakened. A second offensive in 1995, designated Operation Pyi Zanh ("Hero of the People"), captured Manerplaw on January 27. A second major Karen base at Kawmoorah, 80 kilometers southeast of Manerplaw, fell on February 21. Major factors in the operation's success were the Tatmadaw's superior intelligence and the active assistance of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), which had defected from the KNU in December 1994.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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