Readers of this blog will know of my abiding interest in Burmese politics and, in particular, the Karen people. I am deeply saddened to hear today of the assassination (on 14 February 2008) of Padoh Mahn Sha by agents of the Burmese military regime. Apparently, two gunmen entered his house and shot him in the chest. For those who do not know, Padoh Mahn Sha was General Secretary of the Karen National Union which represents the Karen ethnic group in Burma in their struggle for democracy and human rights. He was a greatly respected leader who had dedicated his life to the struggle for freedom. There are no secrets why he was the target of this brutal assassination by one of the most suppressive and evil regimes in history.
There is an interview with Padoh here. Also, a fund has been set up by his children to assist in the fight against poverty and for education in Karen state. Donations can be made online.
For those interested in following news from Burma, visit Burma Digest.
UK Telegraph news report Nov 2007: At least a thousand democracy advocates including Aung San Suu Kyi are under political arrest. Unknown numbers of monks have been killed. Attacks on 30 ethnic groups continue, half a million people displaced. Often the army establishes businesses such as mines or hydroelectric dams in the depopulated areas. Human Rights Watch accuses the Burmese army of burning villages, raping and terrorising civilians, drafting children as young as 10 years old to meet a recruitment shortfall, and slave labour. Financing the junta are oil and gas companies, a Canadian mine, blood gems and timber. The Burma Campaign UK has published a complete dirty list of corporations involved.