Myanmar army major defects, tele-links still patchy


Oslo : While telephone and Internet connections with Myanmar remained difficult Wednesday, a former army major who fled to neighbouring Thailand said he defected since he did not want to shoot at civilians and monks.

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Swedish radio news and Oslo daily Aftenposten published the interview with Major Win and his son who arrived in Bangkok Tuesday after five days on the run from Myanmar.

“If he had refused to obey orders, he would have been killed,” the major’s 17-year-old son said.

The father and son said they hoped to seek asylum in Norway or Sweden.

Win said he had heard rumours of some 200 killed during the protests, but had not witnessed any killings and could not confirm the number.

The Oslo-based opposition radio station Democratic Voice of Burma Tuesday said it had received accounts suggesting some 200 people were killed but cautioned that the figures were difficult to check.

Official Myanmar tally suggests some 10 people were killed.

Earlier, the Oslo-based station’s news editor Moe Aye said that telephone connections with Myanmar were difficult.

Some telephone numbers in the former capital Yangon were out of order while it was not possible to get through to other cities, he said, adding that the internet connection was irregular.

Another development was that the army was trying to force people to give food and money.

“They raid markets for pork and chickens,” he said, adding that shop owners were afraid to open their shops.

Raids included a market in Hlaingthayar on the outskirts of Yangon.