Myanmar army officer defects, seeks asylum

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Bangkok, Oct 4 (UNI) A Myanmar army officer has deserted the ruling junta and escaped to Thailand with his son, saying he refused to take part in the recent military crackdown on peaceful protestors in Yangon.

Major Htay Win crossed over to northern Thailand by rowing across a border river with his 17-year-old son, Thai newspapers reported today.

The 42-year-old army officer said he hoped to gain asylum in a Scandinavian country where Myanmar dissidents are living. His escape was first reported by Norwegian media yesterday.

''As a Buddhist myself, when I heard that monks and other peaceful protestors had been shot dead on the streets I felt very upset,'' he said in a television interview.

Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the Myanmarese officer would be allowed to travel to another country, if it was determined under Thai law that he had entered Thailand with the purpose of seeking political asylum.

UNI

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