Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles They call us displaced people; but praise God, we are not misplaced They say they see no hope for our future; but praise God, our future is as bright as the promises of God They say they see the life of our people is a misery; but praise God our life is a mystery But what they say is what they see, and what they see is temporal But ours is the eternal The third largest ethnic group of Burma, the Karen, have called the central and southern parts of the country their home for thousands of years. Despite their long history and fight for their territory since before British rule, Autonomy from the majority Burmans and self-determination... continue to evade the Karen in post-colonial decades. This lack of reconciliation between the Karen and the central Government has meant decades of state-led displacement campaigns increased militarisation amongst the Karen leadership and dire poverty without provision of basic services for civilians by the state. A combination of these factors led to a perpetual flow of people across the border to neighbouring Thailand leading to a refugee crisis. This particular refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border with a population of almost 50,000 is larger than most of its Thai neighbours. You know that, when there's problem people are the victims, they suffer. So, in Burma, not only us, as we call ourselves the political, or, what do you call, because of the civil war, we cannot live in our land, we have to cross the border and live here. But there are many, many people from Burma they have to come and live or work in Thailand. People living, are suffering, like, our Karen people are living in the camp and now we have some other groups also coming. other nationalities are coming to the camp. But we are only a small number only one 130,000 or 140,000 people. But you know, people across the border, working in Thailand There are more than, they say, there are more than 2 million Originating in 1984, this community has become a microcosm in its own right with elected leaders, administering the daily logisitics for thousands of families that lie outside the jurisdiction of the Thai municipality Saw Htoo is aware of the atmosphere of change that has taken over the urban centres of Burma, and the ceasefire negotiations between the Karen groups and the Burmese armed forces that have come to fruition. But he does not correlate these developments to an immediate solution for his communtiy, which struggles for basic supplies due to dwindling aid. Our going back would depend on the changes taking place in the country If these changes include equality for all ethnicities and if the Government changes into the type of Government that grants us rights and allows us autonomy and provides us with the right to self determination under a system of democratic rule, then of course we will want to go back. We are waiting to see those changes. We would like to go back with dignity and only once the Government is prepared to include us and has a concrete plan. Only then can we return. Those like Saw Htoo, who experienced deliberate negligence by the Government, whilst living in remote communities in Karen State feel that their loyalties are with their local leaders who they claim protected them and provided for their needs for decades. When we lived in Karen State, we were under the patronage of the Karen National Union (KNU) The KNU fought for our rights and self-determination so we feel that they are our leaders While 2012 has been heralded as the start of historic ceasefire agreements between different ethnic groups, including the Karen and the Burmese Armed Forces, Imminent return to their homeland is still a distant notion for this community. People in Burma, not only the Karen people, but all the ethnic groups what they want is national reconciliation. Where all, everyone, to sit at the table and talk. If this military wants to change - seemingly they are doing some things that appear to be signs for changes. But it will depend on whether it is sincere, a sincere attempt for change. The latest ceasefire agreement that has been reached between the Karen and the Government, has perked the interest of those who wish to eventually return home. But defining home for hundreds of thousands whose houses no longer exist in Karen State and those who have only experienced life in this camp, will be a large scale challenge even in the event of permanent peace.