Aung San Suu Kyi: "I'm not free until the people are free."
Image by Shepard Fairey
So, what is going on in Burma (Myanmar)? I’m sure you’ve seen it in the news in the past week or two. Some friends of ours who are closely connected to the action, Partners Relief & Development, summarized it well:
“It’s no secret that those elections guaranteed the military junta continuous power. While Aung San Suu Kyi walked out of her house arrest, more than 2,200 were still sitting in Burma’s notorious prisons—imprisoned for their political views. While we sighed and let our shoulders down, feeling relieved that The Lady was free, tens of thousands of child soldiers carried weapons and burdens no child should have to carry. While we watched the news of a hero set free, hundreds of thousands were on the run—away from the brutal army.”
We are all holding our breath and hoping for Aung San Suu Kyi, that she might navigate those fine lines between truth and trust and challenge and compromise so that freedom might blow across that beautiful and sad land. It is truly an angst-ridden victory. For an informative article on the implications of the election, visit the Partners website.
Up in the mountain jungles of Burma’s Shan State, small firefights continue to break out between the SSA and the Junta near our rescue and care projects. Our ground team Skyped with us late last night, right after their border crossing from the conflict zone. They report that a relative calm, and yet general unease remain since the elections in the districts surrounding our rescue and care projects. We have checked in on three of our homes in the past two weeks, and they report that the children are thriving. So, we are thankful for the moments of peace that we have.
But what about the tens of thousands of child soldiers that Partners mentioned are still enslaved in Burma? As Aung San Suu Kyi said, "I'm not free until the people are free." Similarly, we will not be satisfied until all children are free from this, one of human trafficking’s most tragic forms. Momentum usually starts small, but it always grows if we do our part consistently. With the release of Aung San Suu Kyi momentum is growing. Don’t ever think your actions are small. Use your voice: blog, tweet, wear your child soldier tags (www.ak47tags.com) and get your friends to skip a couple cups of coffee and join the “Kid or a Killer” campaign for $7 a month (www.projectak47.com). Give justice teeth through your actions and join us in helping Suu Kyi set her people free.