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Thailand Burma Border Consortium e-Letter: Issue no 9, Dec 2009

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2009: 25 years on the border

For 25 years now, the Burmese Army has gradually overrun ethnic territory in eastern Burma, displacing more than a million people from their homes.

In 1984, the first large influx of mainly Karen refugees fled into Thailand as the Burmese Army wrested more control over ethnic areas in the east of the country. TBBC has its origins in that time and has been working continuously since then with the refugees from Burma who today live in nine camps on Thailand's western border.

25 years is a long time for donors to support the refugees and a long time for TBBC and other aid agencies who provide assistance on a daily basis. It is also a long time for Thailand, the reluctant host for the refugees. But 25 years must seem like an eternity for the refugees.

TBBC is marking a quarter-century of the refugees on the border and its work with them, with a Scrapbook containing the memories, stories, poems and art of people living in the camps and 'outsiders' who have worked with or known them well.

The book will be launched during the first half of 2010. The contributions that have been submitted to this book are both amazing and powerful; for this, TBBC would like to thank those of you who shared your stories and photos with us.