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It is 61 years since the British empire left Burma, and its promise to the Karen that an independent state would be theirs remains a distant prospect. The war between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the Burmese government is thought to be one of the world’s longest running, and over the course of six decades has steadily eaten away at the core of Karen society.
Here, high in the mountains of eastern Burma, the KNLA 6th Brigade gather to celebrate the 61st Revolution Day. After a difficult 2009 in which strategically key bases were lost and Burmese troops encroached further on Karen territory, the message of the day was simple: 2010 will see a revival of the Karen army, and the dawn of new hope for the Karen people.