chapter
Introduction
Pages 3

Since 1988 Burma has gained notoriety for the extreme violence used by its military regime. The country has long been in Amnesty International’s spotlight, while refugees tell of unimaginable torture, rape and killing of civilians. The Nobel Peace Prize of 1991 was therefore a well-placed tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi and the fight for democracy through non-violent methods. Unfortunately, it was also a reminder of the widespread breaches of human rights which take place in Burma. We are sadly reminded of George Orwell’s description of the colonial era in his 1936 novel, Burmese Days, which includes scenes that point prophetically to the present situation with foreboding accuracy.