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The Longest Struggle: The Karen of Burma 1993 52'
Film     Directed by John Sheppard .
In the forested hills of eastern Burma, a war has been going on for more than 50 years. A war that is rarely reported and is often apparently at a stalemate. For the Karen people of this part of Burma, the struggle for independence from the Burmese government in Ragoon has been going on for three generations. Three generations that have never known peace. The Karen government has established its own schools and medical centres. It has its own liberation army. But no single foreign government has yet to recognise their state of Kawthoolei. Year by year, inch by inch, they seem to be losing the war to the Burmese. Meanwhile, the long-running war has left barely a single family untouched. Karen villages are frequently attacked and the villagers herded into “protective camps” or forced to be porters and human mine-sweepers for the Burmese army. Families routinely conceal all their possessions in the forest lest they be looted by Burmese troops. For over 40 years every Karen family has had to provide one son for the army. Many thousands have lost brothers, fathers, and uncles in the struggle. Thousands more have fallen victim to the mines that dot the forest paths. But the Karen have no intention of abandoning the struggle. “We’ve been fighting now for 40 years. We won’t give up. We will fight until there’s no one left. We will fight until then.”
South-East Asia War / Conflict / Reconciliation Memory