Myanmar Military Landmines Make Citizens Flee

“According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Myanmar’s government continues to lay antipersonnel mines, mostly in regions populated by ethnic minorities.” Yesterday we brought you a rather light-hearted story about how some women in Myanmar are acting out a bit of social rebellion through fashion. We hope you enjoyed it; because there remain some serious and horrible problems in military-ruled Myanmar that make the country not only a dangerous place to visit, but also a life-threatening place to live. And the basis for much of this unrest, this danger, is landmines, which have been a favorite weapon of the country’s military rulers against ethnic minorities and political rebels practically since democracy ended in Burma in 1962. Although the landmines are intended as military weapons against armed rebel forces, ordinary Myanmarese citizens are quite often the ones injured or killed by the devices. As a result, huge numbers of so-called “landmine refugees” have become a growing migratory problem for areas in Thailand with which Myanmar shares a border. Since 2005, for example, roughly 70,000 of these refugees have been resettled. Most have made it to the United States. And the refugee situation is not expected to improve, since the military once again cemented its control of Myanmar last November during the country’s first elections in over two decades. (CNNGo – Myanmar Landmine Refugees)