ethnic cleansing on Burma border

Across Burma aid continues to trickle to those who need it most – or in some cases is denied completely.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with the courageous relief workers distributing supplies as best they can; rather it is the due to the stubborn determination of the junta and their cronies to thwart humanitarian missions.

They would rather see some entire populations wiped out.

In the stricken Irrawaddy Delta – destroyed in last year’s apocalyptic cyclone – the emergency aid programme is finally being replaced by more permanent recovery.

According to Liz Hughes from the Red Cross villagers are being offered cash-for-work schemes to help rebuild ruined infrastructure like bridges and jetties for fishing boats.

But the marginalised and abused Karen people on Burma’s eastern border with Thailand are still being deliberately neglected in the cruellest manner imaginable.

This picture of a young Karen child at the Ei Thu Tha refugee camp, just across the border from Thailand is a typical case.
She, like thousands of others, is displays the outward symptoms of chronic malnutrition.

According to the London-based Burma Campaign this is because the tyrannical regime, headed by General Than Shwe, won’t allow aid to reach them from in country, as part of its ethnic cleansing policy against the Karen minority.

Spokesman Mark Farmaner said: “The only way to get aid is cross-border. The British government isn’t funding this aid to the Karen, and the EU is cutting support it gives to refugees in Thailand.

“As a result the children are living on nothing but rice and salt for breakfast, and dinner (they get no lunch) more than seventy of the children in the camp are now covered in this skin rash from malnutrition.

“The Burmese army attacks their villages and forces them to flee.”

Meanwhile, according to the Burma Campaign, the Thai government won’t let the Karen ethnic minority cross the border into refugee camps.

Local sources in the region have told recently how just after christmas a seven-year-old Karen girl was raped and killed by a Burmese army soldier.

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