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My Aunt, the Burmese Beauty Queen

My aunt, Louisa Benson, grew up in Burma, half-Karen (an ethnic minority in Burma) and half-Portugese. Aunt Louisa, who was Miss Burma twice in the 1950s, married a Karen revolutionary fighter. After the government murdered her husband, she went to the jungle and became a revolutionary guerilla leader, for awhile. My uncle helped her escape from Burma, and they eventually married, moved to LA, and had 3 kids. Here's a picture of her from when she was the guerilla leader.


My aunt has been working tirelessly for years trying to bring international attention to the plight of the Karen and other ethnic minorities in Burma, and the brutality of the illegal SLORC ruling junta (Myanmar). She helped found the Burma Forum, and is involved in a number of activities , such as being the key plaintiff successful lawsuit against Unocal on behalf of the Karen people for their use of forced (slave) labor in the building of pipelines in Burma.

Aunt Louisa was recently featured in Radio Free Asia, in an article titled "Forma Miss Burma calls for International Focus on Karen". Here's an excerpt:

“Currently, the Karen people are suffering a lot. They are ordinary villagers who have nothing to do with the war,? Benson told RFA’s Burmese service. “When I heard about the increased military offense by the Burmese government in [the area near the new capital, Pyinmana], it was extremely sad for me.?

“I’d like the U.S. government, or the U.N. or …[the Burmese opposition] National League for Democracy (NLD), or all of them to solve this problem,? she said. “As a Karen, I feel really sorry for them. They have to live in the jungle. It’s important to solve this problem.?


Are you Charmaine's cousin? I'm a friend of Charmaine's and Andrew's from UC Irvine. I teach literature at USC.

Ben Huang