TEXT: Over fifty years of civil war have left Burma one of the poorest countries in the world. The Burma Army systematically kills, burns, tortures,
rapes, and enslaves the people of Burma. Millions have been displaced. Working with others the Free Burma Rangers are dedicated to freedom for the people of Burma. Through love, the teams give
help and hope to people of all faiths and ethnicities. Teams conduct relief, leadership development and reconciliation missions inside Burma. This film follows relief team training and a
mission from November, 2003 through January, 2004.
TEXT: Steps to Freedom
NARRATOR: As real as this attack looks, it is in fact one part of a training course designed to prepare relief teams to respond to situations
encountered on missions in Burma. This relief training was given inside Karen State of Burma, from November to December, 2003 to a total of fifty Karen and Karenni men and women.
NARRATOR: Over forty ethnic teams have been trained and sent to help their people in Shan, Arakan, Mon, Karen, and Karenni States. As well as the Pa-O,
Lahu, and Wa areas.
MAN, SUBTITLES: We are all from different backgrounds. But we are working for all the people. In order to react to the situation we have a chance to go
to other places. It is a privilege.
TEXT: Physical Training
TEXT: Swimming and lifesaving
TEXT: Backpack floatation
MAN, SUBTITLES: There shouldn't be so much air inside. Look here.
TEXT: Rope-bridge use
TEXT: Map and compass use
TEXT: Landmine removal
TEXT: Video camera use
MAN, SUBTITLES: If you damage this lens you cannot replace it.
MAN, SUBTITLES: You need to practice, just as you would for the front line.
TEXT: CPR & First Aid
TEXT: Medical training
MAN, SUBTITLES: When you inject, once the blood comes in, don't push any further.
MEDIC, SUBTITLES: Hold it with your other hand and tie it. Wait, wait, wait. Ok, tie it.
MAN, SUBTITLES: The air will come in from here.
NURSE, SUBTITLES: Let her have contractions, don't push her. And then, OK, contractions.
NURSE, SUBTITLES: There needs to be a different person to look after the baby.
MAN, SUBTITLES: Slowly, slowly, slowly.
TEXT: Human rights interviewing & counseling
MAN, SUBTITLES: If they can answer they will, if not, they won't.
MAN, SUBTITLES: Human rights abuses and reports of oppression are gathered. To encourage the people. We must give what is necessary to help.
NARRATOR: Eleven teams of four to five people completed the training. Upon graduation, each team was given supplies and moved out to provide relief and
report on the situation in every district of the Karen State and southern Karenni State.
NARRATOR: At the same time these teams were graduating, the Burma Army launched an offensive against the northern Karen and Karenni, displacing over
five thousand people, starting on December 26, 2003.
NARRATOR: Five of the eleven teams trained were sent to respond to this emergency. The rest of the teams went to their assigned areas. One team went to
the far north, where over 2000 people were in hiding.One team went to the Karenni State, later linking up with the three teams that went to the Karen / Karenni border. This video follows the
three teams on the Karen / Karenni border over a one month period.
TEXT: Teams and porters
TEXT: Clearing mines to cross Burma Army road.
NARRATOR: On the way to help the people under attack, medical treatment was given in a rice field, caring for 29 patients. After walking three days,
the teams arrived on the Karen / Karenni border, where over 1000 IDPs were in hiding.
MAN, SUBTITLES: The enemy came and gave us problems. We went back and they arrested us. They tried to tie us up, but we refused. The army leader was
angry about this. We had to follow them and carry things for them. They ordered all the women to come out. And then they went into the houses and took everything.
NARRATOR: The teams set up a clinic, and began treating patients with varied ailments, including malaria, respiratory infections, dysentery, worms,
malnutrition, skin infections, and other diseases.
NARRATOR: Families fleeing the attacks continued to come into the hiding area every day.
INTERVIEWER, SUBTITLES: Where's your village? BOY, SUBTITLES: Ka Ye Kee. INTERVIEWER, SUBTITLES: Are you in school? What grade? BOY, SUBTITLES:
Beginning. INTERVIEWER, SUBTITLES: Since the Burmese came to your village you can't go to school anymore? Not anymore?
NARRATOR: During this week, the teams treated over 800 patients here, and distributed relief, educational supplies, and Good Life Club packs for
MAN, SUBTITLES: I went hunting. I didn't know what happened, and then I was captured. They dragged me. They tied me up and pointed a gun at me. Then
ordered me to follow them. They guarded me until almost dawn. I was able to untie my hands and legs. Slowly, slowly, I untied myself. First I untied my legs. Then I untied my hands. Finally I
ran away through the bushes.
NARRATOR: Among the many pregnant women in hiding, one gave birth, and the team nurses helped deliver a baby boy.
NARRATOR: This village was attacked and looted by the Burma Army. The Free Burma Rangers team came to the village to document the destruction of two
rice barns, a field house, and the torture of a villager during the attack. What the villagers didn't know was that the Burma Army had laid land mines around the village as they left. This
seventeen year old boy was entering the village with a group of ten others when he stepped on Burma Army mine. The team medics responded immediately.
MEDIC, SUBTITLES: Don't worry, be strong. We have more medicine coming and medics.
NARRATOR: After he was stabilized, he was carried for four days to a mobile clinic, where a complete amputation was performed. He is now recovering,
and being prepared for a prosthetic leg.
NARRATOR: After a Sunday service with the IDPs, the teams prepared to continue their mission. Two teams stayed in the area to help the IDPs and monitor
the situation, while two other teams went to another area of need to the west, in Nyaunglebin district, Karen State. As the two teams left, the IDPs called after them, "Don't leave us" and
"Please come back." The team leader later said, "We felt torn between our duty to go to others we'd promised to help, and the desire to be with these people that we loved."
MAN, SUBTITLES: Kwee Do Khaw Church. This church was built in 1883 or 1884. The battalion that burned the church was LIB 599. The commander of the
battalion was Major Kyi Win.
MAN, SUBTITLES: We heard gunshots and the enemy came into the school. They arrested many people, including students and teachers. Three of hem were my
children. By the grace of God, and arrangement of our leads, two of my sons are back. But, we haven't heard about our daughter. We don't have the means to find her. So we depend on our leaders,
and the One in heaven. If you look at our life it is very sad. Because of this child we cry a lot. WOMAN, SUBTITLES: We want her back. INTERVIEWER, SUBTITLES: You want to see
her... MAN, SUBTITLES: My wife and I are like dead people. When we think about our daughter our minds are distant. We can't hear when people speak. We are almost like crazy people.
NARRATOR: In Nyaunglbin district, the teams provided medical and material relief to over 1000 people. During this time they received information that
the Burma Army had launched a new attack, and burned down another village along the Karen / Karenni border. One team stayed to continue relief, and another team rushed back to the fighting
area. As they got closer the team met the first group of villagers who were fleeing the new offensive, including two villagers who barely survived a Burma Army ambush.
MAN, SUBTITLES: We were taking a break and smoking. Then there was an explosion. The six of us were in front, so we got away. We don't know if
the ones behind us escaped or not. There were many bullets that hit near them. INTERVIEWER, SUBTITLES: Where was the jacket hit? MAN 2, SUBTITLES: It went through here.
NARRATOR: The team moved on towards the sound of sporadic mortar and machine gun fire, and met another group of people in hiding, and reunited with one
of the teams that had stayed behind. The next morning one team began to escort the villagers to a safer place, while the other team went up to assess the village that had been attacked. While
the team was attempting to help the people recover livestock and possessions from their village, Burma Army Battalion 568 attacked them. The team stated within the attackers and the villagers
until the people had escaped. Attacks continued for another day, and then the Battalion withdrew. One team stayed with the IDPs in this area, while one team moved south where another Burma Army
battalion was also attacking villages.
NARRATOR: These two sisters in their eighties were found hiding outside their village, alone.
TRANSLATOR: I am afraid to stay in my village because I was told the Burmese come, so all my children run away and I follow them.
NARRATOR: A separate team in Karenni State was simultaneously bringing relief to over 1000 villagers. They documented burnt villages and recorded
testimonies of IDPs. These two boys were abducted, used as porters, and beaten by Burma Army soldiers. This man's wife died after giving birth to their child as they were fleeing.
FATHER, SUBTITLES: If it wasn't for the Burma Army, it wouldn't be like this. She wouldn't have died. If it wasn't for the Burma Army we could live in
our own places peacefully. Because of the enemy we live in fear of killing, oppression, and torture. We have been running until now, until she died. I have lost her, and now I only have this
little child. I have no one to look after her, I cannot do it alone. I don't know what to do.
NARRATOR: After all the Burma Army battalions ceased their attacks and pulled back, the teams made a plan to link up, recross the road, and resupply.
With the Burma Army troops back in their camps, the teams felt the IDPs were relatively safe. Knowing this, one team was sent back to look after the IDPs, and the other teams continued their
mission in other areas.
TEXT: For more information or two help, contact: www.freeburmarangers.org firstname.lastname@example.org Produced by Front Films (c) 2004 Free Burma
TEXT: "Let us not grow weary while doing good. In due season we shall reap if we don't lose heart." Galatians 6:9
[Contains Graphic Content] This twenty minute documentary details FBR team preparations and operations. It follows relief teams through their extensive field training and as they separate on their missions into attack areas across Burma, and includes excerpts from testimonies from IDPs.
1 of 1
Free Burma RangersRole: Creator
Front FilmsRole: Producer
Free Burma Rangers
University of Texas Libraries
// - //
advocacy, activism, and responses to persecution--aid and relief organizations
advocacy, activism, and responses to persecution--eyewitness documentation
advocacy, activism, and responses to persecution--non-governmental organizations
armed conflict and persecution--internally displaced persons
armed conflict and persecution--weapons--landmines
economic, social, and cultural rights--economic and labor rights--forced labor
economic, social, and cultural rights--health and healthcare
economic, social, and cultural rights--social and cultural rights--ethnic identity
Type of Resource:
This electronic resource is made available by the University of Texas Libraries solely for the purposes of research, teaching and private study. All intellectual property rights are retained by the legal copyright holders. The University of Texas does not hold the copyright to the content of this file. Formal permission to reuse or republish this content must be obtained from the copyright holder.