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The ethnic group of the Karen people in Myanmar are mostly Christians. This is because the Karen people worked together with the British Empire at a time when Burma was a colony of Britain. At this time, most Karen converted to Christianity. Most of the Karen people are Baptists.
After Burma gained independence, the country was first ruled by Aung San (the father of the female Nobel prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi) as a democracy. Aung San was killed in an attack from local high militaries a few years later. Since that time the people of Burma are under suppression and are terrorised by the militaries and their generals. Later Aung San Suu Kyi formed the NLD – (National League of Democracy ) as an opposition to the junta and tried to build a national parlament . But this did not work out because many of the MP's - (Member of Parliamentary ) where arrested and sent to jail for long sentences (usually 8 to 12 years).
The emblem of the army wing of the Karen KNLA - (Karen National Liberation Army ):
The NLD - (National League for Democracy) won a resounding victory in the 1990 elections, winning over 80 percent of the Parliamentary seats at stake. The ruling military junta, then known as the SLORC - (State Law and Order Restoration Council), launched a systematic campaign to prevent the NLD from forming a government. The junta also kept NLD General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for more than once.
Later a part of the Burmese military was renamed to SPDC – (State Peace and Order Council )
Because of their religion and their wish for independence, the junta still suppress the people of the Karen very much today. They don't build schools, hospitals or any kind of infrastructure. They used to fall into the Karen villages, rape women, kill children and use the men as slaves or porter to build streets. They also used to steal food from the villagers , because the junta in Burma cannot even support their own soldiers with simple supplies like guns, ammunition or even food.
The Karen are not the only guerrilla army in Burma which fights against the junta. There are many different rebel armies which struggle against the junta and for their freedom. But usually they do not work together, because of their different religiousbeliefs.
There are more names for Myanmar, such as Burma or Birma. Usually people who say Myanmar do accept the military junta as their leader. People who don't accept the leadership of the militaries, say Burma, in Germany the country is called Birma.
Burma was the original name given to the country and appeared the first time in the eleventh century (some sources even tell the name appeared the first time in the sixth century). The militaries have called the country Union of Myanmar since 1989. Myanmar is a derivative of the Burmese shortform name "Myanma Naingngandaw" Myanmar meaning as much as the "Golden Country ".
- Written by Sven M. Jakal - 10. February 2005 - email@example.com -
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