Tuesday, October 23, 2007

“I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to die.”

This is the first post in a series based on my travels inside Burma last week.

BURMA - Last week, at night, outside a temple, I spoke to two young men, named Ki and Tup.*

After determining that one young man – Ki -- spoke some English, I decided to broach the subject.

“Burma is in the news. . . ” I said.

“We just heard about it yesterday,” Ki replied.

I asked him how he felt.

“Great danger. We are afraid to say anything. We are afraid of the police and the soldiers. Danger.” They looked around. No other people were within earshot. Nevertheless, they were clearly uncomfortable.

“Did the trouble happen in this town?”


“Did the monks protest here?”

No answer.

Their lack of response to this question led me on a whirlwind tour of the town's monestaries: for this was a matter far too important to leave unanswered.

Ki then ended our conversation: “I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to die,” he said.


* Names and certain other details have been changed to protect those I spoke with in Burma.

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