Burmese refugees now call Kentucky home

(CBS News)


America has always been a beacon for those escaping persecution. Since 1990, 92,000 refugees have fled the brutal regime in Burma to settle in the United States. CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports on some who have made a new start in Kentucky.

A lot of folks think it’s the best Thai restaurant in Louisville. As indicated by accolades on its wall, “Simply Thai” gets terrific press.

But the real story here is not the food:

“You were a physician in Burma,” Doane asked Mahn Myint Saing in his kitchen, “but you run a restaurant here in the U.S. Was that difficult?

“It needs a little bit of adjustment,” he said, “but, no it’s not difficult.”

In 1988, Dr. Saing found his clinic in the crossfire of a brutal government crackdown in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar — persecuted, he said, because he’s part of “the wrong” ethnic group.

“They shoot at the building – boom, Boom, boom, boom, boom! (making a gun gesture). Glass shattered.”

“Your clinic was destroyed?” asked Doane.

“Totally destroyed,” he said.

Saing took up arms against the government, but was eventually forced to flee with his family. “No human rights in Myanmar at all! No human rights.” he said.



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