Please come with me to one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Holiday brochures promote package deals in fliers with dramatic pictures of high mountains, lush jungles, and ancient monuments.
We are headed for Thailand and will pass through countryside where the mountains soaring above the dense, green jungle are far more dramatic than anything the travel brochures can portray.
But be warned! We are about to leave the tourist trail and travel overland to Mae Sot, near the Thai border with Myanmar (Burma)*. We are headed for refugee camps where tens of thousands of innocent Karen and Karenni civilians—people groups from Myanmar, many of whom are Christian—have fled to save themselves from the ethnic cleansing being carried out by the brutal military junta.
In 1990, after decades of cruel military regimes, democratic elections were held in Myanmar, and the National League for Democracy party won with over 80 percent of the vote. The military ignored the election results, seized control, and has set up the illegitimate (and wrongly named) State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) government. Since the overturned elections, the SPDC and units from the Democratic Kayan Buddhist Army (DKBA) have systematically brutalized millions within their own country (over 2 million remain internally displaced), forcing them to seek refuge across the border in Thailand.
The SPDC has been systematically attacking villages of the Karen and Karenni people, rounding them up for forced labor and for use as human mine sweepers, killing those who do not comply or who are too weak to serve. Others are sent to relocation camps, which are little better than death camps. They believe death is inevitable from disease (there is no medical ...1
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