Struggle Continues in Burma

This post was submitted by photographer Jason Elias

Burma has long been the fabled land of Southeast Asia where Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell sailed the Ayerwaddy from Rangoon to Mandalay.

But over the past few decades Burma’s reputation has centered on the country’s crushing military dictatorship, one that many consider the worst human rights offender in the world.

Buddhism forms the backbone of a culture whose land is dotted with tens of thousands of Golden Stupas. Buddhism instructs the character of the people. Shy and reserved at first, beyond that they are warm and full of humor.

In privacy, away from the government agents and informers assumed to be everywhere, the Burmese are also very politically aware. From bicycle rickshaw drivers in Mandalay to baggage porters at the Rangoon airport, I have been told many times in hushed and furtive tones that the struggle continues.

Once in a very crowded place, a young man pulled my sleeve and whispered urgently to me, “Aung San Suu Kyi will lead us to freedom!” before slipping back into the crowd.


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