The source, from the Whole Burma United Revolutionary Front, which has claimed responsibility for recent bombings in Rangoon, said the “gateway” was close to the confluence of the Salween and Moei Rivers, to the north of a town known as Dakwin.
There is a huge SPDC base camp at Kaukhnyat, to the north of Dakwin.
The source said senior Burmese Army sources were feeding him information and the way would remain clear for KNU mutineers until the 2010 election.
The area is in the KNLA’s Fifth Brigade region.
On Sunday (May 17) the Xinhua News Agency reported that another 37 soldiers from the Karen National Liberation Army’s Sixth Brigade 201 battalion had defected to the SPDC.
This battalion recently lost its headquarters, at Wah Lay Kee.
The camp was besieged for 16 days before it was abandoned, when the KNLA found itself hopelessly outnumbered.
Xinhua said the SPDC mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar, reported the defecting soldiers had taken 10 weapons with them and had been settled in Htot Kaw Ko village.
Htot Kaw Ko is deep inside Burma, on the other side of the Dawna Mountain Range, and controlled by the militia warlord Htin Maung, who defected from the KNLA in 2006.
The former KNLA Brigadier General, Htin Maung, allegedly stole all of KNLA Seventh Brigade’s money when he left, the unit of which he was commander.
The soldiers alleged to have defected this weekend were under the command of Colonel Nerdah, who is currently thought to be in the north of Karen State, in Fifth Brigade.
He could not be reached by telephone on Sunday for comment.
Senior KNU sources said they thought Nerdah’s younger brother, Tay Lay, had probably played some role in the latest defections, if they had in fact occurred.
DANIEL PEDERSEN Mae Sot
Burmese dissidents in Mae Sot say Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council, have opened a “gateway” for Karen National Union soldiers looking to throw their lot in with the Burma Army.