Friday, 28 September 2007

News - defections old and new

Italian newspapers are watching the news from Burma very closely. I have compared their information on what appears in other well known newspapers, and for once, La Repubblica, Il Corriere, Il Manifesto and many others are much more updated, have more video and photo documents and in depth information. This may be because Italians are also a compassionate people (sometime).

Especially today Corriere publish an interview of an elder soldier that in 1988 was ordered to participate in repression, and tells us about the methods employed and how he and other thousands of soldiers deserted.

Excerpt : “I know the inhuman look that can have a soldier. I know which thoughts can bred in his mind before pressing the trigger. I know as every emotion can be cancelled before killing. They have taught me also”. But today the technique, he says, is far improved.

They are moving with icy intelligence. They have for days followed the demonstrators, nearly taking part. They have identified the heads of the revolt. Then they have arrested them during the curfew, undisturbed”.

Yesterday night the last movement : “They have taken onslaught the main monasters of Rangoon and the other cities, Mandalay, Sittwe, Pakokku. They have smashed in doors with the jeeps. They have taken away the monks while they slept. Useless the attempt to call aids with the drums of the pagodas, nobody could move with the curfew”. Result: yesterday morning smaller participation and nearly no monks in the streets. “Therefore it has been easier to open the fire on the crowd, to disperse the people with minimal damage: a selective action”.

In the 1988 operation, he recalls continuing to ask to his superiors : "How can we kill those boys?”, only for being answered with sarcasm: “Ah yes? Then give them your rifles so that they can kill you”. But instead of resuming their job, a large part deserted. “Thousands of us preferred to join the protests. We escaped at night, Rangoon destination, last stage before the exile here in Thailand”. A gesture dictated from a sense of justice that then many soldiers had matured by themselves. “We knew what was right and what was mistaken. To kill, for how much they had taught to us until to nausea, remained one orribile thing for many of us".

The modern soldiers are trained with more technique. However, no matter how, anyone has his choice in front of him, of his conscience, at any time.

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