I AM slotted in the back of a one-tonne pick-up truck with 12 soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army.

It is impossibly hot.

Then it begins to rain.

So we are doing 120km/h and we are all drenched and laughing at our predicament.

There is no room to move, everyone is uncomfortable and the road is steaming from the deluge.

The mountains around us are steaming.

We have just left the funeral of the Karen National Union chairman Pado Ba Thin Sein.

There were two foreigners there, the photographer I am working with and myself.

The pickup is lurching all over the road, there is no right side of the road.

The man behind the wheel is Ner Dah, the son of the late General Bo Mya, a former Karen National Union chairman himself.

About six hundred kilometres by road, two river crossings and reduction to a sweating mess twice over, Ner Dah delivers me back to where I began the day as night closes in on us.

The Thai military have not arrested me, Ner Dah was concerned about that, so we have had a win.

I was pushed into the front of the pickup’s tray and surrounded by good soldiers.

At some checkpoints the Thais didn’t even see me, all they could see was legs.

At the edge of the funeral Saw Aung Win Shwe laments what life has dealt him as a refugee.

“My mother died six years ago, but of course I could not go to the funeral,” he tells me.

He is an expatriate Burmese who would be arrested, tortured and then killed if he were to return to his homeland.

He fled as a student in 1988.

We talk a little about his mum and he accepts it as a fact of his life that he could not witness her funeral rites.

I am at a loss.

How do I explain that people in the West will never grasp the concept that his own government would have refused him the right to attend his mother’s funeral?

It beggars belief, but it is a fact in today’s Burma that the military is waging war against its own people.

When the international community lines up to provide aid in the event of a tremendous natural disaster the junta rejects them.

The 12 men I share the pickup with are all living on the verge of their country and are part of the last organised group that has not signed a peace deal with the current embodiment of Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council.

Fighting has become a way of life for them, they laugh as they do it.

Everyone at the funeral asks me what I think the “international community” will do now, as the junta’s hatred for its people has obviously been laid bare.

How would I know?

The international community does not have a phone number - I can’t call to check.

But as the only foreign reporter among perhaps 10,000 Burmese they want to know what I think.

All I can do is explain that what you are dealing with is a hotch-potch of vested interests all vying against one another to make the most money.

At least someone has found a plastic sheet to keep the rain off us as we hurtle down the road.

Daniel Pedersen Mae Sariang, Thailand

I am at a loss. How do I explain that people in the West will never grasp the concept that his own government would have refused him the right to attend his mother’s funeral? It beggars belief, but it is a fact in today’s Burma that the military is waging war against its own people.