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Suffering in Silence: The Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People of Burma

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Situated in the triangle between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China, Burma is a country of 50 million people struggling under the oppression of one of the world's most brutal military regimes. Yet, the voices of its people remain largely unheard in the international arena. Most of the limited media coverage deals with the non-violent struggle for democracy led by Nobel Situated in the triangle between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China, Burma is a country of 50 million people struggling under the oppression of one of the world's most brutal military regimes. Yet, the voices of its people remain largely unheard in the international arena. Most of the limited media coverage deals with the non-violent struggle for democracy led by Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi or the Army's repression of university students and urban dissidents, but these only form a small part of the story. This book presents the voices of ethnic Karen villagers to give an idea of what it is like to be a rural villager in Burma: the brutal and constant shifts of forced labor for the Army, the intimidation tactics, the systematic extortion and looting by Army and State authorities, the constant fear of arbitrary arrest, rape, torture, and summary execution, the forced relocation and burning of hundreds of civilian villages and the systematic uprooting of their crops. Three detailed reports produced by the Karen Human Rights Group in 1999 are used to give the reader a sampling of the life of Karen villagers, both in areas where there is armed resistance to the rule of the SPDC junta and in areas where the junta is fully in control.


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Situated in the triangle between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China, Burma is a country of 50 million people struggling under the oppression of one of the world's most brutal military regimes. Yet, the voices of its people remain largely unheard in the international arena. Most of the limited media coverage deals with the non-violent struggle for democracy led by Nobel Situated in the triangle between South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China, Burma is a country of 50 million people struggling under the oppression of one of the world's most brutal military regimes. Yet, the voices of its people remain largely unheard in the international arena. Most of the limited media coverage deals with the non-violent struggle for democracy led by Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi or the Army's repression of university students and urban dissidents, but these only form a small part of the story. This book presents the voices of ethnic Karen villagers to give an idea of what it is like to be a rural villager in Burma: the brutal and constant shifts of forced labor for the Army, the intimidation tactics, the systematic extortion and looting by Army and State authorities, the constant fear of arbitrary arrest, rape, torture, and summary execution, the forced relocation and burning of hundreds of civilian villages and the systematic uprooting of their crops. Three detailed reports produced by the Karen Human Rights Group in 1999 are used to give the reader a sampling of the life of Karen villagers, both in areas where there is armed resistance to the rule of the SPDC junta and in areas where the junta is fully in control.

21 review for Suffering in Silence: The Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People of Burma

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    The stories are so tragic and it is informative, but it's not very well written. It was written by an advocacy group though, so I can cut them some slack. The stories are so tragic and it is informative, but it's not very well written. It was written by an advocacy group though, so I can cut them some slack.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  4. 4 out of 5

    Donald

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  6. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zeina Nasser

  8. 5 out of 5

    Benedicte

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meagan H

  10. 5 out of 5

    Too

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tanaythamgwe

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Miguel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Juli Kil

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sahdia

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nari

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Greene

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kory

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rangoli

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alaina Kozma

  21. 4 out of 5

    luke

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