Deserter left with broken leg after mistreatment

Dec 29, 2008 (DVB), A Burmese soldier who deserted after being refused permission to leave the army was left with a broken leg after being mistreated when he was recaptured, according to a civil servant in Naypyidaw.

Thet Oo, a 20-year-old private, served in the Taungoo-based advanced communication corps for three years on a monthly salary of 10,000 kyat.

He asked his superior officers for permission to leave the army but they told him he could only leave if he paid 20,000 kyat.

He could not afford to pay and so he ran away.

After his desertion he was recaptured by the army and had his leg broken while in their custody.

He was admitted to hospital in Naypyidaw but the authorities refused to pay for his treatment and his mother, a washerwoman named Daw Htay, could not afford to pay for his care so he has been reliant on his relatives.

The civil servant said he had seen Thet Oo walking with crutches in Naypyidaw and said it was not clear whether his leg would return to normal.

Thet Oo has been ordered to return to the army after his treatment.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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