f_0018903_16164 - P RTFOLIO Thierry Falise is a Belgian...

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Lush forests, raging rivers, and steep hills circle Burma’s central plain from west to east like a giant horseshoe. It is an idyllic landscape, home to Hsar K’Tray Saw, a 13- year-old Karen boy who lost his sight when a landmine planted by Burmese soldiers ex- ploded outside his village. It is also where a 37-year-old mother was gang raped by half a dozen soldiers in a rice field; where the body of an unknown porter lays rotting down a jungle trail, shot as he was trying to escape enslavement by the Burmese Army; where old, young, and infirm villagers alike grab their few possessions and flee into the jungle, hiding from merciless army patrols like hunted game for weeks, months, some- times years. In short, this is a land of fear. Ethnic minorities make up 30 percent to 40 percent of Burma’s estimated 55 mil- lion population and occupy 60 percent of the territory. They are Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Rakhine, Shan, Wa, to name P RTFOLIO On the Run: In Burma’s Jungle Hell —A YOUNG BOY PEERS OUT OF A BAMBOO HUT IN SAW WA DER , A DISPLACED PERSONS COMMUNITY IN THE JUN - GLES OF THE NORTHERN KAREN STATE , WHERE HE LIVES WITH HIS FAMILY AFTER BEING FORCED TO ABANDON HIS VILLAGE BY THE BURMESE ARMY . ©Thierry Falise Thierry Falise is a Belgian photographer and writer based in Bangkok. He is the author of the novel Les Petits Généraux de Yadana (Anne Carrière Editions, 2005); the first French biography of the Burmese pro-democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Le Jasmin ou la Lune (Florent Massot Editions, 2007); and Le Châtiment des Rois (Florent Massot, 2009) on the devastating toll of Cyclone Nargis. He has covered Burma, legally and clandestinely, for more than 20 years. © 2010 World Policy Institute 57
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the largest and better known nationalities. From the earliest days, these ethnic people have stood up to the Burmese government, proclaiming their determination to pursue an independent way of life. But rulers in Rangoon were not content to allow minori- ties to contol the vast natural resources of these territories. In the late 1960s, the mili-
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0018903_16164 - P RTFOLIO Thierry Falise is a Belgian...

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