News and Reports
Rambo Draws Worlds Attention to Forgotten Crisis in Burma
As Sylvester Stallones Rambo premiers in London tonight, the Burma Campaign UK welcomed the attention it is bringing to one of the worst human rights and humanitarian crises in the world.
Burmese refugees who have been forced to flee their homes following attacks on their villages will be attending the premier.
The fourth Rambo movie is set in Karen State, Eastern Burma, where the countrys brutal military dictatorship is engaged in ethnic cleansing against the Karen people. Rambo goes into Burma to rescue aid workers who have been kidnapped by the regime.
As part of its war against the Karen people the Burmese army attacks peaceful villages, burning homes, raping women and children, killing and torturing villagers. More than 3,200 villages have been destroyed, and half a million people forced from their homes. The regime does not allow aid to reach these people, and so the only way to get aid to them is to deliver it cross border from neighbouring countries. However, very little aid is delivered. In Burma a child dies every four minutes from hunger and disease.
By setting Rambo in Burma, Sylvester Stallone has done more than governments or the United Nations to draw attention to the crisis going on out of sight in the jungles of Eastern Burma, said Mark Farmaner, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. The Karen people are being slaughtered, but the world looks the other way. Normally for a crisis on this scale you would see the UN going in with peacekeepers and aid.
Attacks on the Karen people have been going on since Burma gained independence in 1948. Burma has been ruled by various dictatorships since 1962. In September 2007 Buddhist monks led protests against the dictatorship, which were brutally suppressed with thousands of monks arrested. The regime is now stepping up its attacks in Karen state. There has been no response from the international community.
Some governments might look down on celebrities getting involved in international issues, said Mark Farmaner, but if governments were doing their jobs, it would not take a Rambo movie to draw attention to a crisis on this scale.
For more information contact Mark Farmaner on 020 7324 4710
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