“They moved here, but when I arrived here I didn’t find my parents. I don’t know where they are.”
Place: Ban Dokita, Mae Hong Son, Thailand
Interview by Lena Dorfschmidt
When did you come here?
I come from the Karenni State. My village is Duphar. At first I have to explain why I came here. The first thing is for education, because in Karenni State, you have to know that the Burmese government is very strict. It is so difficult to go to school. I started in primary school to middle school, but in high school I couldn’t manage, so I moved to here.
Sometimes the Burmese military came to our village, they surrounded the school and they closed it, so we couldn’t attend school.
What is peoples’ perception of the situation?
I don’t know. Many people are very uneducated. They cannot do anything.
The military comes and takes them to become porters for the military.
So you decided to come to Thailand…?
I don’t know about my father’s background, but my father… somehow the Burmese military made problems. The Burmese came and surrounded our house. They arrested my father. They caught him.
Do you know why they arrested your father?
I don’t know, because at that time I stayed at a boarding school.
So I came here for education and because of the problems with the Burmese military.
I came alone. I was so afraid. When I saw one… I don’t know who he is, but he called me to come together with them on motorbike. We passed the mountains. It took us three days.
What about your family, are they still in Burma?
No, because of the same thing. They always had problems with the Burmese military, so they moved here. They moved here, but when I arrived here I didn’t find my parents. I don’t know where they are.
Are they not in camp?
No, my father, my mother and my sister…
Do you have any contact with them?
Hopefully I can find them one day and see them again.
Do you feel it is better to be here now?
Me? It is okay for me.