Sunday, February 24, 2008

Free Burma: Burmese in Karen State say the latest Rambo movie tells it like it is.

Burmese in Karen State say the latest Rambo movie tells it like it is.

In "Rambo 4", released a week ago, an aging John Rambo leaves
his quiet retirement as a boat repair man in Bangkok to help Christian
missionaries kidnapped by a battalion of Burmese soldiers in Karen State. Critics may have scoffed at the latest chapter in the Rambo saga, but the film is a big hit with everyday Burmese and Karen freedom fighters.

For some, it was elation at seeing somebody -- albeit a fictional
Hollywood character -- taking it to the foot-soldiers of a military regime
that has ruled with an iron fist for the last 46 years.

[Young Burmese Man]:
"This is reality. Because I come from Burma and I know the scene
is right and my family also are in Burma too, so this is a real story."

In Karen State troops have become huge fans of Rambo, saying Stallone's
success in the movie has spurred on their will to beat the military junta.

[Captain Gilbert, Karen National Union Troops]:
"It is a good movie for Karen people and the Karen fighters also like it. They said they could get some experience from the film and it also raise their confidence and their bravery which could encourage them to fight against the Myanmar junta."

After the crushing of last September's monk-led protests, anti-junta
activists see the movie as a rallying cry to a cause that receives little
Western backing beyond words of support for detained opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

[Edward, Overseas Burmese Patriots]:
"Please don't forget us. Please help us. Please support our cause for change and democracy in Burma."

But for others, it was a painful but telling reminder of real life-and-death

[Cinthy, Student from Karen State]:
"When I was five years, six years old, I still remember, my parents and I ran away. We all go and sleep inside the jungle and bushes. We all are always living with the fear."

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