A report published by the Karen Human Rights Group on June 12, 2008 concludes:
“While the international media remains focused on the SPDC’s post-cyclone intransigence regarding relief aid in the Irrawaddy Delta, the Burma Army has continued military attacks against civilians in northern Karen State. This continuation of military expansion and attacks is disastrously undermining the health, education and livelihood options for villagers in these areas; areas in which the regime has restricted relief efforts, even more tightly than the Irrawaddy Delta.”
The Karen Human Rights group has spent the last 16 years documenting in painstaking detail the burning of over 3000 villages, the destruction of food supplies, rape, murder and forced labor perpetrated by the Burma Army. Free Burma Rangers also has documented the incredible bravery and persistence of the various ethnic groups in Eastern Burma in trying to protect their people from the attacks of the illegal military dictator’s army, and to pursue their human rights to life, raise their children, farm their land, have medical care, and live in peace. (Detailed reports on their web site).
The world (I realize that’s a generalization) calls those defending their family “rebels” and the paranoid military junta (who ignored an election they lost and threw the elected government in jail), it calls a government. Isn’t that backwards?
Isn’t their a different standard we can apply? The ethnic people who are setting up schols (and when they are attacked, moving to another place and doing it again), training medics and providing care to those hiding in the jungle from the Burma Army, running health systems, advocating for justice, sharing the little they have, refusing to quit, and working for a day when they will be able to live in peace….reminds me of something I read: (the paraphrase is from Mark 9:34-35, but the principle is universal to all faiths and those of no particular faith)….”if you want to lead, you’ve got to serve.” (Now wouldn’t that be a principle to use to make a good government?)
Photo: Internally displaced kids with teacher making school where they can find it….