Loss of Another Ranger: Francisco Jarja, 22, Killed by Burma Army

18 May 2023

Karenni State, Burma

Dear friends,

We have lost another Ranger this week. This is now 21 of our relief team members who have been since the coup d’état of February 2021. Ranger Maung Francisco Jarja, age 22, was a Karen man who lived in the village of San Pya, near Demoso, Karenni State. He was a Christian and a man who loved God and people. Before the coup, he was a student, hoping to continue his studies, until the Burma military took over two years ago. After the military coup, he joined the Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF), a new group of volunteers to help defend the people. Francisco was very interested in helping people and focusing on bringing wounded to safety and so he decided he wanted to join the Free Burma Rangers. He attended a one-month relief team training course given by FBR in May 2022. During the training, he was always cheerful and made us laugh. He was a very hard worker and helped lead children’s programs as well as learning to document the situation.

On a relief mission in Karen State, right after the training, Francisco was a bright light of love to the displaced. He worked alongside young men and women of many different ethnic groups that had  participated in the training together. He helped to give joy and hope with medical support for the displaced in northern Karen State. After this mission, he returned back to Karenni where he served the KNDF and also worked as a relief team member and a front-line evacuator. He rose in leadership and on our last mission in Karenni in January and February, he was key in helping us to provide relief to the over 10,000 displaced Karenni people in his immediate area. Francisco also helped to document the attacks against civilians by the Burma Army and reported on Burma military aircraft that regularly bomb, strafe, and rocket villages.

On 18 May 2023, at 12:00 noon, he was killed by a drone weapon in the battle of Tani Larle on the eastern side of Demoso, Karenni State. He is very missed by all of us who knew him, and we will do our best to help his family. The cost of the struggle for freedom in Burma keeps getting higher and higher, and we pray for a change in the hearts of the dictators, and also for more help so that the people of Burma can have a new country. Thank you for praying for them all and especially for Francisco‘s family and all his friends. And us too. We appreciate that very much.

Thanks and God bless you,

Dave, family and FBR

Fransico holding up a rocket the Burma Army had fired into a village.