Your Turn

A Visit to a Karen Village

The following was written by Sarah, an 8th Grade student living in America who has recently visited Burma.

As I walked through the village of bamboo huts someone yelled in a foreign language, "The army is coming!" People run, gathering up all they can carry, and then bullet shots pierce the air. Men, women, and children fall, dead or injured, to the ground. People are imprisoned or forced to work and villages are burned down. For those who flee into the jungle they have to undergo many hardships but still are not free. This is Burma, a country in chaos. The Burmese people and other ethnic groups are suffering from cruel Military dictators. Burma needs your help to gain freedom, a democratic government, and peace.

First of all, America is a very strong country. We need to help those countries in need. Doesn't our own pledge of allegiance say "With liberty and justice for all."?

Not just for Americans, but every person in the world. People want their independence; the fight against the Military has been going on for such a long time that young children have never known the joy of a peaceful life. They run for their lives from the army almost every day and they live in fear. For them freedom is just dream.

Before the Military dictators took control of Burma, it was a very wealthy country. Burma has many natural recourses. It has beautiful teak and ebony wood tree forests. The U.S. government would prosper by doing trade with an independent Burma. The dictators are in control of Burma's trade and they use forced labor to make their products. People either get paid very little or not at all.

Last but not least, I understand that the U.S. is having some peace talks with the Burmese government. Peace talks are good but they only do so much. War is not always for a bad cause. If people are fighting for freedom I think that is the best cause of all. America needs to do something about Burma. The U.S. fought for independence in South Vietnam against the North Vietnamese Communist Party. Burma is suffering from a harsh dictatorship, why don't we take a stand again and help the oppressed?

The U.S. government needs to do something to help Burma. If a war is what it comes to, so be it. As Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Freedom is not free. If you could just see the people you would understand the bad situation. Please help to work for a free and independent Burma.