Despite being formerly banned and operating in exile, Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) have captured some of Myanmar’s most historical moments on camera. The media organisation got international attention after the award-winning film, ‘Burma VJ’, which shows the work of their secret video reporters during the Saffron Revolution.
DVB continues to present videos on Myanmar’s political process, the different regimes, conflicts and aspirations of the people. We highlight some videos from their collection below.
Aid Exodus: Rohingya Children Face Malnutrition
Muslim Rohingyas living in shelters in Burma’s violence-plagued western Arakan State state have said they are facing a severe lack of nutrition as a result of aid workers evacuating from the region following attacks on their homes and offices.
The United Nations describes the Rohingya as one of the world’s most persecuted minority groups. The Myanmar government denies them citizenship, arguing they are relatively recent migrants from the Indian sub-continent.
In recent years, the flaring conflict has led to thousands of Rohingya fleeing the country on boats for refuge, with many being stranded at sea.
The Dark Heart of Burma’s Drug Epidemic
Palaung communities in northern Shan State are suffering from the effects of an even greater upsurge in opium cultivation than in previous years.
Local paramilitary leaders, some now elected into Burma’s new parliament, are being allowed to cultivate and profit from drugs in return for helping the regime suppress ethnic resistance forces in Burma’s escalating civil war.
As a result, drug addiction has escalated in the Palaung area, tearing apart families and communities. Burma’s drug problems are set to worsen unless there is genuine political reform that addresses the political aspirations of Burma’s ethnic minority groups.
Iconic Lake on Brink of Disaster
Thousands of dead fish have washed up on the banks of the Taungthaman lake on two separate occasions over the past month, signaling a deeply unhealthy natural environment.
The travellers’ day trips to the world’s longest teakwood bridge do not underpin the livelihoods of the locals living on the lake’s shore. It is an environment that sustains the families of over two thousand fishing industry workers, and hundreds more in related businesses.
Tourism officials, historians and architects have led a concerted push to save the U Bein bridge from dilapidation. But with the surrounding ecosystem on the cusp of disaster, the people of Taungthaman Lake need an environmental saviour.
More videos from DVB are available here. Members from the organisation will also be present at our Southeast Asia Video Camp, happening in Yangon in June 2015.