The Oppressed People Of Burma Essay

3060 words - 12 pages

The Oppressed People of Burma

Burma, like many other Southeast Asian nations, is a land of much culture and diversity of ethnic groups. Unfortunately, unlike the people of other nations, the people of Burma have been stripped of their human rights. Since the military junta had overtaken the Burmese government in 1988, the people of Burma have been among the most oppressed people in the world. The continuation of the government’s brutality has caught the attention of many outside nations around the world who increasingly have been intervening in Burma’s issues to help its people. As these occurrences are a major issue for the people of Burma, these problems are not restricted to its boundaries. They are also becoming a problem for some of Burma’s neighboring countries such as Thailand. With a quick look at current events, it is clear that the oppression of the native people in Burma is still in its most intensive state. But first, an introduction of Burma’s background will spark interest as to how a culturally rich country could turn into a land full of people in search of their basic human right -- freedom.

Burma is considered the land of rice and teak wood, in addition to its being rich in many other natural resources. The official language is Burmese and the major religions include Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. A population of 49.5 million inhabits the land, in a 261,789 square mile area. The ethnic composition consists of the Burmans, the Shans, the Karns, the Mons, the Chins, the Kachins, as well as a significant population of Indians and Chinese who have migrated from their respective homelands. (Compton’s Encyclopedia) Three-quarters of the population live in rural areas.

In recent decades, Burma has been a nation that has had a very volatile history of events regarding the stability of its country. It has been a nation that has endured constant political upheaval ever since its independence was gained in 1948. Before that time, they had been a British colony since 1885. After fourteen years as an independent country, they removed their government in 1962 and finally adopted a new constitution in 1974, becoming a socialist republic. Shortly thereafter in 1988, the country’s welfare turned into a brutal military government and the military established a State Law and Order Resolution Council (SLORC) to govern the country. Finally, in 1989 the country’s name changed from Burma to Myanmar, a name change that would parallel a change in the way the people of Burma would appreciate their lives prior to 1988.

The Problem

Ever since Burma’s government turned into a military power, the devastation that the people have had to endure has led to intense oppression. This has become a problematic issue for Burma including its neighboring countries such as Thailand. The government has acted inhumanely towards its people. The oppressive acts include forced unpaid labor among its people, including its children and the elderly....

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