Khu Myar Reh, from Karenni State, Myanmar [Burma]
Khu Myar Reh is a teacher and human rights activist who fled Burma Army violations in Karenni State to the Thailand-Burma border at the age of 37, seeking refuge and an opportunity to learn more about justice and human rights to help his people.
“I fled my village in Karenni State because of the human rights violations practiced by the Burmese military troops. We were arbitrarily arrested, we were discriminated by the military and we were suspected by the Burmese military troops […]. So then, they could arrest us, kill us, or torture us in any way because they have a lawless attitude toward our Karenni local people. […] But, based on the dictatorship system, we were not allowed to ever talk about human rights or stand by justice.”
“I decided to make up my mind, to flee my village, to get more opportunity for my life and my people, my society’s future. So, I fled my village to the refugee camp to try to learn, find more knowledge about justice to help my community. So, today I have learned knowledge about human rights, the rule of law, about the democracy and government system, and about how [it would be possible] to regain genuine peace by the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.”
Four years after his arrival, Khu Myar Reh graduated from the EarthRights International (ERI) education program in Chiang Mai and soon started working for the Karenni Social Development Center (SDC). The SDC has projects in the Karenni refugee camps and in the Karenni State and has provided training for
over 500 human rights and environmental activists for their community.
“I teach about human rights, democracy, environment, and the rule of law to our Karenni young people who finished their Grade 10 and who are interested in our program. And also, now I am working as the principle for my [SDC] program or organization to help our people to educate themselves on important knowledge on human rights, democracy and government, and rule of law [and] environmental preservation. This [knowledge] is very essential for our people to be able to set up a new society or
achieving peace and a democratic society for the future.” […]
“I would like to tell the people of the international community to be interested in politics, political issues. And, to learn knowledge about the democratic practices and society. And to learn their rights and to give time to learn the knowledge and need to be active for their daily life – not to give up for their life. To be able to escape from this dictatorship we must be patient and tolerant and understand each other and be united to work together in a positive way. […] And also, we need to make them value the dignity of the human being in Burma. Yes, this is what I want to say.”
Story & photos by KSDC and Burma Link: www.burmalink.org
Note: Only part of Khu Myar Reh's story is shared on Voices of Refugees. To read the full story, visit: www.burmalink.org/it-is-dangerous-for-our-people-or-any-organization-to-move-there-burma-karenni