I basically grew up in a small town called Mawgyun in the delta of Lower Burma. During the late fifties and early sixties my family and most of my relatives were the active members or the sympathisers of Burmese Communist Party. One of my older uncles was the feared boss of the local party branch. But, as the rebels they controlled only the surrounding villages, not the town itself. In our rural region, the majority of the villages were Burmese with a considerable number of Karen villages dotted among. Communists then controlled the Burmese villages and Karen villages were ruled by the KNDO. The town itself was controlled by an army company permanently stationed on the outskirts of our town.
There must be at least 100 lying there some moaning, some still trying to crawl away from the soldiers. The strange scene was the now familiar sight of hundreds and hundreds of abandoned flip-flops lying all over the wide road and around me. Luckily the soldiers didn’t advance or shoot at me. I immediately realised my stupid mistake, turned around, and ran like hell away from them.
There must be at least 100 monks there standing idly near a makeshift roadblock of piled chairs and tables from the high school nearby. I even went up to the group of older monks sitting on the low brick wall by the hospital’s main entrance and gave my respect. As we were talking about what was going on around Rangoon, we saw a police Hino TE21 truck came speeding along Aung San Road, towards the main entrance.
He was dead within a few minutes and they started making a bonfire of all the school-furniture already on the road. They threw his mutilated body into the huge fire. Watching the protesters including the young Buddhist monks doing that such a violent and cruel act, I didn’t feel that badly at first. But what they did later shocked me to the bone.
The overpowering smell of burning human flesh was almost unbearable and the popping noises of boiling human fat flowing in large quantity almost overwhelmed the cheers and the clapping sounds of the crowd. One slightly wounded policeman tried to crawl out of the fire, but the people pushed him back into the fire with long bamboo sticks and the flame finally consumed him except his left arm which was now lying just outside of the edge of fire.
The day after I arrived in Bangkok, I went to Australian Embassy and made enquires for a work-visa. Luckily, the Australian Immigration Councillor felt pity for me after a long chat and she kindly encouraged me to apply for a permanent resident visa instead. It took only three weeks to get my PR visa and as soon as I had been living in Sydney for a required two years residency I successfully sat for my citizenship interview and became an extremely happy Australian citizen.