Two Children Killed by Burma Army Brutality
17 September 2022
Karenni State, Burma
Do you remember when you were eight years old?
Maybe reading this you have an eight-year-old child yourself. Or maybe you can picture in your head an eight-year-old you know, and the joyful world they live in.
Being eight is a time where a boy can explore the world within the safety of his family’s watch and protection. Where he can play, imagine, laugh, dream, and live – even in a war zone – with the total freedom that comes with that age. Even in an IDP camp, eight-year-olds are still eight -year-olds. They climb trees, they dig in the dirt, they laugh and invent games with their friends.
Eight-year-olds are the perfect age for loving a Good Life Club program put on by Rangers. They understand and keel over with laughter during the dramas. They still are young and free enough to sing along and do all the actions to the songs. They love the games and would play them into the dark if they could. They adore their GLC t-shirts and wear them until they are nothing but threads. The Good Life Club was designed with eight-year-olds in mind. On the back of the Good Life Club t-shirt is part of the verse from John 10:10, where Jesus says, “I have come that you may have abundant [good] life.”
Eight-year-old Luiz Zi was still wearing his Good Life Club t-shirt when he was killed by a Burma Army landmine. On 1 September 2022, Luiz was playing outside his temporary school in Krok Khu Village in Karenni State; while playing and digging in the dirt he was unaware of the mine below him. His digging and joyful playing was cut short when the mine exploded, killing him instantly as shrapnel hit him in the head.
And a few days later, on 8 September, not far from where Luiz Zi was killed, the Burma Army opened fire on a father and son. The crime of shooting at a child is of little consequence to the Burma Army. Mg Kennedy, only eight years old, was hit by one of the Burma Army bullets and killed. His body lay in the dirt for most of the day as Burma Army soldiers indiscriminately fired at anyone they saw, young or old. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that his family was able to recover his body.
I don’t have the words to describe the evil of the Burma Army when they kill eight-year-olds. Violations of UN Human Rights and threats of trials for war crimes are only empty threats that the Burma Army and military junta in power scoff at – and these supposed safeguards don’t bring back the children killed in this war. The verse in John 10:10 goes on: Jesus says He comes to bring good life, but then He contrasts by saying, “but the Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
Together with their families, we mourn the loss of Luiz Zi and Mg Kennedy. We pray for their families. We pray for the hearts of those that did the killing and the hearts of every Burma Army soldier, that they would change and they would come face to face with Jesus.
Thank you and God Bless you,
Free Burma Rangers