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Am I normal?

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When I stand up and look around our city in Burma, everything has changed. The trees are gone. Biodiversity has disappeared. The rivers have also dried up. Some animals are crying with sadness and hopelessness.

When I stand up and look around our city in Burma, everything has changed. The trees are gone. Biodiversity has disappeared. The rivers have also dried up. Some animals are crying with sadness and hopelessness. The climate and weather have changed without warning. The people who live in the jungle are facing hunger and atrocities by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) the Burma military. But I know nothing about this. What is wrong with me?
 
I lived in the city knowing nothing about the outside world: What happens in the jungle and about our nation? I just wanted to know why our country is not developing like other countries. I didn't know the situation and what kind of government was leading us.
 
I used to live on the Thai-Burma border to earn money. During that time I had learned something: that our people are different from our neighbors. They are not interested is their own literature, traditions, and their own history. For example, the Shan youth don't want to learn their mother literature.
 
Before I moved to Thailand I didn't know who control our country, and what kind of system? Who is Than Shwe? What is SPDC? What is dictatorship? I had never heard about these. No one could tell me about this because many people didn't know either. I only used to hear from my parents that there is much human rights abuse in our country.
 
One year after I moved to Thailand I have learned many things about Burma such as Human Rights abuse, politics, democracy etc. I am beginning to know now why people are crying for freedom. Is it normal for me during the 19 years I live in Burma, I was living with my eyes and ears wrapped without knowing anything?
 
Six months ago I met one friend who is a refugee. He explained to me how his mother was shot by SPDC and how he lived in the jungle where the nights were cold and the air smelled bad. When I heard about this, we both thought how cruel the government was. Why did I not know about this? Is it justice for everyone who are fleeing from hell everyday and who knows nothing?
 
Now I am very worried about our young people who are living like I was before. Many youth in the Shan State don't want to wear their traditional clothes, learn their own history and mother literature. If we go to the city and ask them what is SPDC? I think 97% won't know about this.
 
Many young people in the city are still blind and happy with themselves. But, in the countryside and the hills people are struggling to have a meal mixed with tears and seeking a place for peace. Now, many trees and animals have been driven out of the country by the bad government, not only people.
 
Lieng Lern is an intern with SHAN – Editor

This is the opinion and analysis forum for our readers. Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. To contributors, please attach a short account of yourselves at the end of your articles. SHAN will respect the authors right to use pseudonyms.

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