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Escape from Namhlinpar

Following clashes between Burmese government forces and the Kachin Independence Army around Mansi township just over a week ago, between 2,000 and 3,000 Kachin villagers were forced to flee their homes.

On November 18, South Korean photojournalist Lee Ku Kyung caught up with about 100 of those fleeing Namhlinpar where heavy exchanges had taken place a day earlier.

Having trekked through the jungle to escape the fighting, the IDPs were met with trucks organized by local NGOs, which had been working tirelessly to evacuate those fleeing danger. The vast majority of those who boarded the tricks were women, children and the elderly.

Lee spent seven hours with the Kachin IDPs bumping along a cliffside dirt road in the back of a rickety truck.

“I was overwhelmed by the endless stories about atrocities committed by government forces against them – regardless of a ceasefire, non-ceasefire or ‘peace process’,” she said.

Lee Yu Kyung is an independent photojournalist based in Bangkok, Thailand. This photo essay is a part of her ongoing Burma Project, funded in part by South Korea’s Rhee Yeung Hui Foundation (

All rights reserved © Lee Yu Kyung 2013 /



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