The Coup, The Covid, The Climate Change
DARE Network on the Thailand/Myanmar Border
As you are all likely aware, February 1, 2021 the Military Junta of Myanmar staged a Coup ousting the newly re-elected government of the National League for Democracy and imprisoning its leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor.
What happened next surprised the Coup makers. The people of Myanmar rose up. Led by Doctors and Teachers, people took to the street in protest. Government workers all went on strike and left their jobs. Banks closed.
The Coup maker’s response was typical of the military junta. The army and police turned their weapons on their own people, in an attempt to force them to relent. Young people were shot in the head and killed. Their internal organs were removed and sold. Families had to pay for the return of their children’s bodies. Thousands were arrested, tortured and raped. The Coup makers launched an attack of terror.
The Ethnic people throughout Myanmar also stood up. The Ceasefire agreements had long been breached. The Ethnic armies defended their people. The Coup maker’s response to this resistance was to bomb unarmed civilians resulting in the displacement of 100,000 ethnic people throughout the country. Their homes destroyed, their livestock stolen and their rice fields unplowed, they face mass starvation.
The Coup makers have ignored all calls for a cessation of the violence from the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). They continue to do the only thing they know how to do. Kill, torture and rape.
At DARE Network, we are able to continue our addiction work in the Refugee Camps on the Thai side of the border. Our work inside Karen State continued up until recently, when it became too dangerous for our workers. Some of them we returned to the refugee camps, where their families live and others to villages inside Karen State, from where they come. Some of our brave workers chose to stay on at our DARE Centre to manage our property and to treat anyone in the area who feels they want to stop using drugs and alcohol. We will continue to support these folks with food and supplies.
For the Internally Displaced people along the Thai/Burma Border, DARE Network has joined with 5 other Community Based Organizations to coordinate food, shelter and medicine supplies. Negotiating with Thai authorities for permission to take the many donations of such that have come for the IDPs, our people have managed to get support across the Salaween River to the Karen people hiding in the jungles. This is something neither the UN nor the International Organizations have been able to accomplish. Our staff are working hard to help their own people.
Meanwhile, because of the constant attacks of the Junta, the people resisting were exposed to the growing and uninhibited cases of Covid19. The virus spread like wildfire in Yangon the capitol of Myanmar. People fled to the border areas where the Ethnic Freedom Armies accepted them and started to train young people how to fight back. However, Covid came with them and started spreading in areas that had been free from the virus.
Our DARE Centre inside Karen State being so remote managed to keep clear of the virus, so that we could continue our treatment of people in need of our services .
In the Refugee Camps on the Thai side of the border, Covid19 was largely kept out thanks to the Thai Government’s lockdown of the camps. More recently however, the Delta Variant is ravaging Thailand and Myanmar. Thailand has no vaccines available for the refugees nor those working with them. DARE Network has taken the highest Covid precautions in our DARE Centre. As you know, the NADA Protocol is very up close and personal so extra safety measures have been put in place. The Refugee Camps Leaders have allowed us to continue to treat clients, who we carefully screen.
On top of all this, Climate Change is making itself known on the Border, as elsewhere in the world. It is currently Rainy Season. This year the rains and winds have been extreme resulting in flooding of the Refugee Camps. The roads in are plagued with landslides, trees fall and powerlines come down.
Now we hope the next year will bring a return to democracy in Myanmar, a calming of Covid in the region and a Global effort to reduce Climate Change.
If you are interested in making an “emergency” donation to these efforts, please do so here and leave a message designating it as such. We will ensure that it reaches the people in need during this emergency.