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Written and Illustrated by Written and Illustrated by Ji Won Lee Ji Won Lee


BURMA

Written and Illustrated by Ji Won Lee


Co u n tr ies, like people have good and bad times.


Burma has a rich culture. Their people have a 2500 year long history with many beautiful temples and interesting places to explore.

However, Japan wa s d e t e r m i n e d t o make many changes in the world. They were stronger than the forces of the Joseon Dynasty and attacked.


However, at the moment, Burma stands as a poor communist country with corrupt leadership. Burma has many problems. Beyond the fact that their economy is strained and most are living in poverty, the government is also not treating its citizens fairly and often hurts them. If the people don't do what the leaders want they can be hurt or even killed.


Long ago, when my mother and father were children, Korea had problems too. The leaders hurt and even killed citizens. Then the Koreans fought with the leaders. During this time many people died, but now we have freedom thanks to those brave soldiers. Now, we even have free speech. We can speak critically of our leaders without fear. I am thankful for this.


I consider myself lucky to have been born in South Korea. It was by chance that I was born here in a conflict free time of prosperity. I feel that Burma must be miserable in some ways because there is such poverty and suffering due to the malevolent leadership in their country.


My first instinct was to urge people in Burma to revolt in order to gain their freedom. I think that people should be free. Many powerful leaders from around the world have called for peace and freedom in Burma, but the leadership in Burma has not listened. This problem is not simple and the leaders will not relinquish power easily.

This roused the anger of the Joseon Kingdom. Soon Joseon’s admiral, Ei Soon Sin, defeated Japan’s supply lines.


I think that the situation in Burma is very complex. Perhaps people don't like what is happening in Burma and would like to revolt but they could be afraid of the consequences. If there was a revolution many people would die. Therefore I think that many people might prefer to live quietly and not make trouble with the leadership despite the loss of certain freedoms in their life.


However I think that maybe that is too simple as well. The world is a big place and it could be that many people are actually happy living in Burma. The country is a warm relaxing place with an abundance of natural resources. I have heard many negative things about the country but I think it might be possible that there are entire villages, towns or even provinces that are living peacefully. Would they want to be pulled into a bloody revolution because people in another area are not happy with the leaders?


It is not a simple problem and the lack of information in Burma cannot be helping the people organize or gather their thoughts. I think they must not know what is going on in the rest of the world because of all the media censorship that I have heard about. In a country of over 41 million people, there are only about 7000 homes with computers!


If I could speak to the leaders of Burma, I would say, "Please stop hurting your people. They need your help." However I don't think they'd listen to me. How many children would it take before our voices were heard? I'm not sure. I think that one potential solution could be nonviolent resistance. Ghandhi advocated for this which led to freedom from British rule.


If I could speak to the children of Burma, I'd first want to listen to them and see how they are feeling. If they are feeling that life is hard, I'd encourage them to have hope that things will improve one day. My dream for Burma is that the leaders would be kind to everyone and do their best to bring prosperity to everyone in their beautiful country.


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Countries, like people, have good and bad times.


Burma