Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)

After years of struggle, in 2012, the Burmese government decided to open up the country to political and economic reforms. Attracting foreign investment has been a top priority and perhaps one of the main motivators for the move.

However the over 60 year old civil conflict with the KNLA and other rebel armies continues. Since it is possibly one of the biggest barriers to foreign investment the government has signed ceasefire agreements with the rebels groups.

Deep in the jungles of Karen state bordering Thailand, the KNLA still continues to more or less maintain control. But this wasn’t the war zone it once had been. In fact it had been so quite the soldiers seemed to be as relaxed as kids on a school camp.

During my three night stay in the camp I didn’t hear a single gunshots and the only threat came from boredom. The soldiers were more than willing to excitedly pose with their gun when I proposed the idea on my last night there. What came out though looked more like a movie scene rather than a war zone.

Burma (August-2012)