Have you ever had to run for your life? Literally?
Have you ever had to run for your life? I mean literally run for your life, knowing if you stop you'll be killed? I have. The terror I felt as a child fleeing attacks by the Burmese Army will never leave me. One minute I was at home doing my homework, the next minute bombs were falling, shaking the ground. I was in a remote area in the ethnic Karen State in Eastern Burma. It wasn't in the news. No-one came to help us.
Last month Burma was in the news. Wonderful scenes of people in Rangoon celebrating the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. There is hope for change at last.
But at the same time, in Eastern Burma, this time in Shan and Kachin ethnic states, the bombs were still falling, and people were still running for their lives. Two months ago the Burmese Army launched a new military offensive. So far ten thousand people have been forced to flee for their lives, just as I did 20 years ago. Many are camped out in the jungle or mountains, without proper shelter or food, just as I was 20 years ago.
On Christmas Day they won't be at home with their families, eating a special meal. They'll be struggling to get enough food for their children, and living in fear that the Burmese Army will come for them.
So much has changed in Burma, but at the same time, so much hasn't. I hate the fact that 20 years since I was forced to run for my life, children in Burma are still facing the same thing, just because they come from a different ethnic group.
I want to stop this happening, that's why I joined Burma Campaign UK. I know that together we can stop this, and that is why I am writing to you today to ask you to make a donation to support our work. No more children should be forced to run for their life, no more mothers should have to watch their children die because of a lack of food and medicine or live in camps without proper shelter or food.
I won't rest until this stops. I hope you'll be standing beside me until we finally succeed.