You were living in a house that was pretty much a replica Concord watch commune with a bunch of dudes, except for a few females. Howd you adjust?Beer, mostly. As drinking buddies, we became pretty fast friends. Also, you have to lose any self-pity for your mild discomfort or disorientation pretty quick when you’re hanging around with a bunch of genocide survivors. Did you know who the Karen were before living at the BA House? Was it emotionally difficult to live among refugees whove been through horrific experiences? Did you ever feel overwhelmed with hearing such dark, bloody stories?I actually spent some time in a Thai Karen village once some years before, and of course I’d heard of the Long-Neck Karen, you know, with gold rings stacked around their necks, and those are both relatives of these Karen. But Id certainly never heard that there was a giant population of the minority targeted for ethnic extermination in eastern Burma.
Somehow, no one has. So everything they told me replica Corum watch about their horrifying personal histories was shocking. What?! Government soldierscame to your village and killed your father and uncle?! Hmm? Your refugee campwas burned down?! Twice?! But what I found most overwhelming was their future--or lack thereof. These refugees have almost no options, in any country. They are unbelievably fcked.What exactly does BA do?Generally, they promote democracy inside Burma. Specifically, they send refugees in Thailand whove run away from camps back over the border into Burma for months at a time to document human rights atrocities and to train villagers how to empowerthemselves. As for the former mission, they come back with piles of photos andvideotapes of stuff you wouldn’t believe. Have you returned to Thailand to visit some of the BA folks? Whats happening now with the ones you were closest to?
I went back for a month in 2008, but now everyone’s mostly scattered around the planet. Some are here in the States, some in Australia, the UK, Sweden--most of replica Piaget watches my housemates were part of the UN’s largest resettlement program in the world and were flown out of Thailand with more than 50,000 other Burmese refugees. The Burmese government recently said there would be civilian elections. Do you buy this? What do you think is going on? How do you think it will affect the Karen?Yeah, they announced those elections in 2008, and they haven’t announced the exact month yet, but it looks like it’s gonna be October. Theoretically, this is a step in the regime’s Road Map to Democracy. Of course, theyre already totally rigged.