Loss of a Ranger: Chan Thar

Taw Oo District, Karen State, Burma

Dear friends,

We are sad to announce the passing of one of our Karen Rangers, Chan Thar.

He died in a tragic accident while delivering supplies and ammunition to people trying to defend themselves. In between relief missions, he was on his way home on his motorcycle and agreed to help a People’s Defense Force (PDF) unit by delivering supplies, including munitions, to their position. There was an accident, causing the detonation of the munitions in his load and killing him instantly. Chan Thar graduated basic training in 2021. He was single but had a serious girlfriend and family he leaves behind. We mourn with them and will do anything we can to help them.

Chan Thar was a member of the Taw Oo Ranger team. After his death, his team leader said, “I am proud to acknowledge Chan Thar’s sacrifice. We are sad for his loss and we grieve with the family he leaves behind.”

Chan Thar was a good friend and teammate. He was always smiling and laughing and always the first person to volunteer to help. In missions to Karen and Karenni states, he never hesitated to help. Whether it was unloading supplies from a truck, preparing a Good Life Club program, rushing forward to get wounded, doing the most dangerous thing or doing a routine thing, he was always the first to say, “Let me help you.” His loss comes as a shock because he was such a kind and gentle person and always serving others. He would never put himself first, even in danger. There was no job too dirty, too big, or too small for him.

Dave Eubank said about Chan Thar: “When I think about his loss as a friend and teammate, I can’t help but feel very sad for the people of Burma. Chan Thar was the kind of person who could make friends across different ethnic groups, faiths, races, and backgrounds. Everyone loved him and he had the ability to unite people from different groups. I remember in training how he would help anybody who was having a hard time. And how he connected with our own children, Sahale, Suu, and Peter. These last two months we’ve lost so many Rangers, and losing him makes us feel even worse. Our consolation is all the great things he did, the way he made our lives better and all the ways he built up other people around him, giving life and saving life. His example lives on. Finally, we believe, because of the love of Jesus, we will see him again in heaven. That is our great hope. In the meantime, we mourn loss of this brave young man.”

The Taw Oo team buried Chan Thar several days later with appropriate honors. Sadly, the team was not able to return his body to his hometown because there is a Burma Army camp there. It is a poignant reminder that for so many of our FBR family, home is not a safe place and much of Burma still isn’t free. The funeral was attended by his family, friends, and girlfriend. We pray that they will be able to weather the pain of his passing and that they will know they are loved by so many here in FBR and, more importantly, by Jesus.

Chan Thar’s teammates pay their last respects.

We are sad for the loss of our brother, and comrade in the work of healing Burma. His FBR family will miss him. We look forward to the day we will meet him again in paradise with Jesus. Thank you for joining us in honoring Chan Thar, and thank you for all you do to make Chan Thar’s dream of peace in Burma a reality.

The Free Burma Rangers