Mike Nizza wrote on his blog at 9:50 NY time:
Now comes an unconfirmed report in The Daily Mail in Britain with a staggering claim of mass slaughter. The paper quotes Hla Win, described as a Burmese general who has deserted his post in protest of the regime’s harsh tactics.Here is the link to the Daily Mail article which went online at 15:04 in London (almost 3 hours ago). I'm reading it now. I am at a loss for words.“Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about,” Hla Win said. “The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”Here is some additional detail from General Win, referred to in this passage by his title:The 42-year-old chief of military intelligence in Rangoon’s northern region added: “I decided to desert when I was ordered to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks. “They were to be killed and their bodies dumped deep inside the jungle. I refused to participate in this.”The general is seeking political asylum in Norway, according to The Norway Post. A Norwegian freelance journalist told The Post that he met with General Win in a jungle hideout near the border with Thailand.
Reports from exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply "disappeared" as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians. Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells. There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help.
There are extremely high numbers of soldiers in Rangoon's streets," she added. "Anyone can see it is absolutely impossible for any demonstration to gather, or for anyone to do anything. "People are scared and the general assessment is that the fight is over. We were informed from one of the largest embassies in Burma that 40 monks in the Insein prison were beaten to death today and subsequently burned."
The diplomat also said that three monasteries were raided yesterday afternoon and are now totally abandoned. At his border hideout last night, 42-year-old Mr Win said he hopes to cross into Thailand and seek asylum at the Norwegian Embassy. . .
This vision of Burma's future is not acceptable. Not if the reports of killing fields are confirmed. I say the hour has arrived for the civilized world to take stock of all its options in dealing with murderous junta of Burma.
A Swedish diplomat who visited Burma during the protests said last night that in her opinion the revolution has failed. Liselotte Agerlid, who is now in Thailand, said that Burmese people now face possibly decades of repression.
"The Burma revolt is over," she added. "The military regime won and a new generation has been violently repressed and violently denied democracy. The people in the street were young people, monks and civilians who were not participating during the 1988 revolt. "
"Now the military has cracked down the revolt, and the result may very well be that the regime will enjoy another 20 years of silence, ruling by fear."