Mae La Refugee Camp Suicide Continue To Rise

A teenage boy, 17 from Mae La camp committed suicide on December 22 at his house in Zone A-2, it was the second suicide case in a month.

Saw Ah Kine, the section leader of Zone A confirmed to Karen News that the boy often complained of not wanting to live anymore.

“The boy have been telling his grandma for a long time that he wanted to die. He often talked about committing suicide. This time, the grandma had no time to stop him. He didn’t drink or use drugs. He was a good kid.”

The teenager was living with his, grandmother aged 70. The boy had left school and had served in the camp security service for three months before he committed suicide. He used a homemade hunting rifle to shoot himself in his chest.

Refugee camp officials on the Thai Burma are hugely concerned that suicides among camp residents are increasing.

On December 2, a young Karen refugee couple killed themselves by drinking pesticide – the young woman was pregnant.

According to camp officials, the Karen Refugee Committee and Non-Government Organizations that provide services in the camp are running an awareness training in an attempt to prevent suicide cases, but said that they face many difficulties.

Naw Blooming Night Zan, joint secretary of KRC told Karen News that there is no clear method to prevent suicides in the camp.

Speaking to Karen News, Naw Blooming Night Zan said.

“We see that the reasons behind the incidents are different. If the case was similar to disease outbreaks, we’d know exactly what measures needed to be taken. But for suicide, there is a broader scope, so we don’t really have a system in place to prevent or deal with it.”

Mae La Camp records shows that 14 people have died from suicide in 2015 and camp officials said that there have also been suicide attempts that were prevented and attempted suicides that have gone unreported and are not recorded.

Mae La refugee camp has been home for almost 30 years to as many as 40,000 refugees who had fled armed conflict, militarization and human right violations in Burma.

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