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Forced Labor in Burma – a Video Expose - 2002-12-07


Spurred by the dramatized unfolding of violence by the Burmese military in the 1988 democracy uprising in Burma -- as portrayed in the Hollywood movie ‘Beyond Rangoon’ six years ago -- a French journalist published a video documentary called “Burma, Horror Total”.

Jean-Claude Defosse wrote and produced this documentary for the RTBF / Belgium TV with the help of a Burmese actor of ‘Beyond Rangoon’ fame – U Aung Ko who assisted as a guide-cum-interpreter in the venture.

U Aung Ko said Mr. Defosse did an exhaustive research for this project and interviewed many Burmese exiles as well. The result was this 53-minute documentary which is basically a short historical perspective of the Burmese workers who went through both physical and mental pain after being forced to work for the gas pipeline in southern Burma.

The pipeline construction was done by the French oil giant Total-Fina-Elf in collaboration with the Burmese military government.

The scenes in the video include the European parliament, refugee camps in Thailand and various spots along the Thai-Burma border.

This documentary will be shown in Asia on a worldwide cable network TV 5 on Wednesday, December 11, at 5:30 in the evening Burma Standard Time.

U Aung Ko said the movie ‘Beyond Rangoon” is still popular and being screened all over the globe in various languages including English, French, German and Italian.

He also said this movie helped enlighten many Europeans, including Jean-Claude Defosse, the plight of Burmese people under the military rule. The star of the movie expressed his delight in being a part of this video expose ‘Burma, Horror Total’ and hoped that it will be a shot in the arm for the Burma campaign movement.

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