- A view from the periphery —the pride and blood of the Karen's enduring ethnic struggle -

It was just before dawn on January 1, 2001. In the mountains of Burma, not far from the Thai border, RPG mortars fired away. This was the sound that greeted my ears as I lay in a small bamboo thatched hut, shivering from the cold. "Will this be yet another year of war?" Half-filled with despair, I fell again to sleep.

In one corner of Southeast Asia, there is a Countrywith abundant natural resources called "Burma". Whenever there is news coverage of this version of Burma, central to the story is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her continuing non-violent struggle against the current military regime for democracy. Rarely is the existence of ethnic groups, also continuing their struggles of resistance in the jungles of Burma, even touched upon.

In Burma, 70% of the population is comprised of the Burman ethnic group.Since the late 1940's however, efforts by successive military regimes to Burmanize the nation have been met with armed resistance by "ethnic minorities" living in remote areas, such as the Kachin, Karen, Chin, Mon and Shan. However, due to the junta's overwhelming access to supplies and room for political maneuvering, the resistance movements of these ethnic groups have dissipated.

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