The World's Longest-Running Civil War

Collection with 19 media items created by vincenzo floramo

Myanmar 30 Jan 2015 09:48

Photos by Vincenzo Floramo

Text by Portia Larlee

Thick fog lifted at the break of dawn January 31 to reveal rows of troops at the Karen National Liberation Army headquarters on the Thai-Myanmar border. It was Karen Revolution Day and hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces. Decades later Karen, young and old, are driven by the fierce nationalism of generations past in the push for political autonomy.  The event was an excellent starting point from which to discuss what a post-ceasefire Myanmar might look like. The peace process continues, with a seventh round of ceasefire talks set for the coming months. Karen leaders, including Karen National Union chairman Mutu Say Poe addressed troops at the KNLA headquarters, urging a nationwide ceasefire – and eventually a "federal army." Discussion of “security reform” was missing from the day's speeches, largely because the future of Myanmar's ethnic minority armies following a nationwide ceasefire remains unclear. What will become of Myanmar's freedom fighters? 

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Myanmar Thailand Burma Karen Karen Minority Revolution Day Insurgency Civil War Uprising Memorial Conflict Politics Military Knla Mutu Say Poe Fighters Reform Villages 1948 Borders

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Knla 01
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

Local villagers and a soldier watching a night theatre show during the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 02
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

Armed soldiers flock all around the stage watching a night show during the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 03
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

Family with their children come from the nerdy villages and borders refugees camps to assist at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 04
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

Dancers preforming a show at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 05
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

Traditional Burmese and Karen dance were performed at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 06
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

Soldiers of the Karen Revolution Army preparing the flags for the imminent parade for the KNLA 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 07
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

Soldiers marching on the main square on the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 08
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA soldier forming the lines during the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 09
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA Major General Saw Johnny at the flag rising during the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 10
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

Karen National Union chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe during his speech at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Title photo for the collection
Knla 11
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA soldiers stand during the flag rising at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 12
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA Major General Saw Johnny reviewing the soldiers at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 13
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
30 Jan 2015

KNLA soldiers on the at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

In 1994, a group of Buddhist soldiers in the KNLA, citing discrimination by the KNU's overwhelmingly Christian leadership against the Buddhist Karen majority, broke away and established the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

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Knla 14
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

DKBA soldiers assist at the KNLA ceremony out of the lines at the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary. The two insurgents groups they are holding talk to sign all toughener an agreement with the Burmese central government.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 15
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA soldiers marching out of the main campground at the end of the parade on the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 16
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

KNLA soldiers march holding the Karen state and KNLA flags during the parade on the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 17
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

Soldiers of the KNLA are let free after the two hours parade for the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 18
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

Traditional Karen dance are performed on the main campground for the Karen National Liberation Army 66th revolution anniversary.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.

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Knla 19
Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
31 Jan 2015

A little child wearing a T-shirt with a Karen flags running around the weapons KNLA soldiers left out of the food barrack.

On Karen Revolution Day at the 7th Brigade headquarters hundreds of onlookers from Karen villages and refugee camps border-wide had gathered to commemorate Britain's departure from Burma in 1948 and the subsequent civil war between Karen and government forces, considered among the longest civil wars in history.