Thursday, October 4, 2007

Defecting General Hla Win's Story to the BBC

Hla Win, described as a Burmese general who has deserted his post in protest of the regime’s harsh tactics, described horrific scenes from Burma to the Daily Mail newspaper. Tonight the BBC interviewed the same general (I think) but the BBC report omitted all-important details from the Daily Mail report. It also omitted his name.

The BBC's report is entirely colourless:
The officer, whose unit was ordered to Rangoon to deal with the protests, said he did not want to beat or shoot monks - who are revered in Burmese society.

"I knew the plan to beat and shoot the monks and if I stayed on, I would have to follow these orders. Because I'm a Buddhist, I did not want to kill the monks," he said.
I presume this is the same individual interviewed by the Daily Mail. In that interview one General Hla Win is reported to have said:
“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.”
Hla Win also reportedly told the Daily Mail that "the bodies number in the thousands." Again, no mention of this figure on the BBC. We can be quite sure both news organizations interviewed the same man. BBC reports, "A Burmese army officer, who fled to Thailand in the first apparent defection since the crackdown, has been giving interviews to media organisations."

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