Getting the story out
It’s 4 A.M. at Bangkok airport. Minutes before my plane is to lift off for Rangoon, I get a call on my mobile. In loose English with an Asian accent, a screaming voice says, “This is immigration department. We are outside your house and want to ask you a few questions. Open, please.”
“But I am not at home,” I reply defensively.
“We only want to ask few questions, open up already.”
“What house are you talking about? I am not at home. Where, in your opinion, do I live?”
“Ah, so now you don’t know where you live,” the voice retorts. Perhaps he is a Burmese security man who knew of my intention to file reports from his country, and about my conversations with opponents of the regime outside Burma.
I break off the phone call, wondering whether to board the plane. In the end, I decide to go ahead. The long line of foreigners flying to the country reassures me – probably they are human rights activists or journalists. At least I am not alone. As I board the plane, I discover I was wrong: the long line was for a flight to Delhi. On the plane to Burma, the only flight to that country in the past two days, there are seven people, all of them Burmese. The plane takes off. link