Burma's Bamboo People

I'm doing last-minute research on G3 and MA-series assault rifles used by the Tatmadaw Kyee in Burma for my novel BAMBOO PEOPLE, releasing Fall 2010 from Charlesbridge. The book features two boy protagonists—one a Burmese soldier and the other a Karenni refugee desperate to save his people hiding in the jungle.

Did you know that Myanmar has the most child soldiers of any army in the world? The UN is sending a team at the end of the month to try and stop this atrocity.

As for the displaced people and their struggle to survive, here's a recent call for help from a Karen woman who shares graphic details about her family's suffering.

It helps to listen to the hopeful voice of one of my heroes, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's imprisoned leader of democracy:

She's been held under house arrest for nearly 14 of the past 20 years, and was recently sentenced again to 18 more months of house arrest.