Feb. 9 - Orphans in Shan State on the Thai-Myanmar border hope for a better future amid Myanmar's recent democratic reforms. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The Orphans of Myanmar. In Shan State, orphans find refuge at a school near the Thai border. Many of the students lost their parents to the decades-long conflict between Myanmar's military government and Shan State Army, a powerful rebel group. Now that the government has agreed to a ceasefire, hopes for peace. One student says he hopes to never take up arms. (SOUNDBITE) (Shan) 19-YEAR-OLD ORPHAN SAR LENG SAYING: "I want to continue my studies in the future. I want to be a teacher. I have no desire to join the Shan State Army." Despite the wave of changes, the school principal says he doesn't expect radical changes, but maybe more students. (SOUNDBITE) (Shan) LOI TAILENG SCHOOL PRINCIPAL HERNGFAH TAIHERMG SAYING: "I see more children in the future for this school. I think more kids will be admitted here. They are very poor.Their families are very poor." Peace talks between the government and Myanmar's many armed ethnic groups have long been a key demand by the West in order for sanctions to be lifted. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.