From the mountains of the Thai-Burma border to the rapids of the Salween River, I managed to spend a few weeks on the eastern side of Burma these past couple months.
One of my favorite stories to work on this month involved visiting a Kachin village in northern Thailand. It was the first time I’m visited a Kachin village that wasn’t terrorized by the Burmese military in recent years- and the pride and comfort that people displayed in their ethnic heritage reflected that.
December 12 marked one year since Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested for investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine. The case has become a landmark moment in what is the evident decay of press freedom under Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy led government. Read my full story about it for Al Jazeera here.
But not all is lost. For New Naratif I made a podcast about the young people leading the fight for greater freedom of expression and access to information in Myanmar:
I wrote a piece for Al Jazeera about Dr. Thet Htwe, the Muslim woman on the forefront of sexual education in Myanmar. For a country where even mentioning sex is taboo, she’s doing some incredible work.
Also did my first op-ed, drawing from my own personal experience to discuss the lack of laws protecting women in Myanmar, which you can listen to here:
To round-out my last work trip of 2018, I headed to Mutraw District, Karen to witness the official launch of the Salween Peace Park. Watch this space for the stories I am producing on the project, which are set to be published at the start of the new year.
Looking ahead at the calendar, I’ll be on the road January-May, undoubtedly missing the comforts of Yangon at times, but also never willing to change a thing about the life I am lucky enough and work hard to lead.
Upwards, onwards, and see you in 2019.