Posts by antoniograceffo

Nursing the Shan

On a bamboo bed in a dark clinic at Loi Tailang, a woman sits with her three children. One has a severe foot burn, which is all infected and ugly looking. It is very common for children in the rural villages to be burned when cooking pots overturn on the fire at the center of […]

A Day in Loi Tailang

All over the village boys are fashioning bows from natural materials, preparing to compete in the big archery contest. Small children kick a Takraw ball, a small hollow ball made of rattan. I pull out my camera, but the mothers quickly tell the children to hide their faces. Photographing people who are planning to live […]

The Other Karen Tribe

The Long neck Karen (Karen-Padaung) are not actually Karen at all, but they are also refugees, escaping the genocidal madness in Burma. They have become a symbol of tourism in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province. On the Burmese side of the border, agents of the junta gather the Karen, Akha, Lihsu, Lahu and other tribal […]

The Suffering Continues in Burma

New figures from the UN have the death toll, possibly, at 216,000. The junta still hasn’t allowed any aid workers into the country. They allowed two plane loads of food and medicines in but then immediately commandeered everything. Now the US refuses to send anymore aid, unless aid workers are allowed to accompany the materials […]

Disaster and Repression in Burma

“20,000 dead, over 40,000 missing and 1 million displaced.” – FBR Relief Team Leader During forty years of totalitarian rule, the SPDC, the junta which rules Burma, has demonstrated time and again that they view the civilian population as adversaries. Burma maintains one of the largest standing armies in the world, although they have no […]

Burmese Students Become Exiles

“If I go home, they will detain me,” says a Burmese exchange student. Terrified of state run information and spy networks, the student has asked not only that his name not be printed, but that even the country where he is studying remain secret. “I have heard from other students. They meet you at the […]

Shan Monks in Exile

The young Shan monk told me that the first time he came to Thailand he came illegally, to study Pali, the ancient Buddhist script. That was when he was a novice of fourteen. Now, ten years later, he is still studying Theravada Buddhism at one of the temples in Northern Thailand. “I had problems with […]

Martial Arts Odyssey : Lai Tai

On my return to Shanland I met with another leading Lai Tai, Kung Fu student and filmed his art. As always, I met up with Kawn Wan, interviewed him about his views on martial arts and on the future of the Shan people. I need some help. My paramedic training is going well in […]

Gone Kurtz, on the Burma Border

American Thomas Bleming sees himself as the new Karen liberation fighter, but does anyone else? “Let me tell you about the army. The army is some guy you don’t know, sending you out to wack some other guy you don’t know.” Al Pacino, “Donnie Brasco” Mercenary, soldier of fortune, fast-gun for hire, even the job […]