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UK Launch Of First-Ever Biography Of Burmese Dictator Than Shwe

Karen Christian women

The UK launch of the first-ever biography of Burma’s dictator, Senior General Than Shwe, by Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s East Asia specialist Benedict Rogers, took place on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, at the House of Commons in London, followed by a presentation at the Legatum Institute in Mayfair on the following day.

The House of Commons launch was hosted by the Speaker, John Bercow MP, in Speaker’s House. As a back bench MP, Mr. Bercow travelled with CSW to the Thailand-Burma border in 2004 and the India-Burma border in 2007.

“Few people have spent a longer time in Burma, have studied the country in more detail, or have a more instinctive affinity with the plight of the people of that country than Benedict Rogers,” he said. The book, he added, “is a hugely important study of a man who has perpetrated many crimes against humanity. It is a book as enlightening as it is chilling.”

“Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant” is published by Silkworm Books and was first launched at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Bangkok on July 1, 2010.

The foreword was written by former Czech President Vaclav

The book tells the story of one of the world’s most brutal dictators, and of the suffering of the people of Burma under his rule. Drawing on his own personal travels to Burma and its borders, and on interviews with Burmese defectors and international diplomats, Benedict Rogers explores the life of Than Shwe, his developing nuclear program, links with North Korea, arms sales from China, the new capital, Naypyidaw, his skills in psychological warfare and his belief in astrology, and the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Than Shwe’s regime.

Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma Yozo Yokota describes the book as “a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand Burma.”

Sean Turnell, a Burma expert at Macquarie University in Australia, says: “In this path-breaking book, Benedict Rogers shines a light into some of the darkest corners of Burma’s military dystopia …. Meticulously researched, powerfully written, and provocatively argued, this book deserves a place on the bookshelf of all of those interested in Burma, in Southeast Asia, and in the eternal struggle against tyranny and injustice.”

Benedict Rogers said: “I wrote this book in order once again to turn the spotlight on Than Shwe’s brutal regime in Burma and its crimes against humanity, and I hope that in some way this will be a contribution towards galvanising international opinion for the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate the regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on + 44 (0) 20 8329 0045, email or visit

CSW is a human rights organization which specializes in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.

Notes to Editors: For further information about the book, please see

Note from Dan Wooding. As someone who has visited Burma twice, once legally and the other time illegally — by crossing into the country via Thailand to report on the terrible plight of the Karen people, who are mainly Christians and whom are brutally persecuted by the Burmese regime — I ask all of our subscribers to continue to pray for the Christians of this land which is also known as Myanmar.

Dan Wooding, Assist News Service

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1 Comment

  1. Al Bundy

    July 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Note to Dan Wooding: Most Karen are Buddhist, not Christian. And why only pray for the Christians?

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