I have recently found myself with a copy of Thomas Bleming’s book War in Karen Country. In light of the renewed New Mandala discussion of a Burma tourism boycott I thought I would throw this extract from Bleming’s effort into the mix. Reporting a conversation with the Karen National Liberation Army’s Colonel Nerdah Mya, Bleming writes (on page 104):
I brought up the idea of putting ads in newspapers offering those with steel nerves and guts to come to the Republic of Kawthoolei and visit the war zone as tourists. This idea, he thought, might bear fruit in such a way as there were those in the States who, perhaps were wanting excitement in their lives and maybe some would want to come to the Karen break away region of Kawthoolei to, you might say, put some “spice” in their life; a high risk, dangerous adventure that would certainly be something to talk of, once those individuals returned to his or her town. Of course they would be required to sign waivers; otherwise, it was a good idea.