The Path of Pen or Sword?
covering burma and southeast asia
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Burma

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The Path of Pen or Sword?


By RYAN LIBRE Wednesday, February 4, 2009


KIA recruits pledge to remember the martyrs who gave their lives for the Kachin people. (Photo: Ryan Libre)
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Being largely undeveloped, there are few good jobs in Kachin State, plus the Kachin face discrimination by the Burmese majority.

It is much easier to recruit and train soldiers than media experts. Mung Aung gets no salary, but he stays because he believes in a better future for the Kachin people.

The UN cannot directly aid the Kachin people in their struggle. No superpower has directly taken up their cause or offered direct support.

The media is the Kachin people’s best hope for a peaceful solution to their dream of an antonymous homeland.

The Kachin are trying to compete on the frontlines of communication by calling on the international media for attention. But they can't do it alone, and there’s the real possibility that if no one hears their message and they are ignored by the world's governments and media, they could return to the sword.

Ryan Libre spent three weeks in Kachin State supported by a grant from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.



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