Tuesday, October 2

A "full-scale genocide" against Burma's ethnic minorities

From AP via Australia's Herald Sun
Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone and his Rambo sequel movie crew have witnessed human atrocities while filming along the Burmese border.

"I witnessed the aftermath - survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off. We saw many elephants with blown off legs. We hear about Vietnam and Cambodia and this was more horrific,'' Stallone told Associated Press.

"Shots were fired over the film crew's heads and we did receive threats," he said.

Stallone was in Burma shooting John Rambo, the fourth movie in the action series, on the Salween River separating Thailand and Burma.

He returned before the Burmese military's violent crackdown against monks and residents participating in the largest pro-democracy protests in Burma in two decades. [...]

The Burmese army has also waged a war against ethnic groups - raping women and killing innocent victims. Hardest hit have been the Karen - one of several minority groups seeking greater independence and autonomy.

The Rambo script, written long before the current Burma uprising, features boatman John Rambo - a Vietnam War-era Green Beret who specialises in violent rescues and revenge - taking a group of mercenaries up the Salween River in search of missing Christian aid workers in Burma.

Stallone said families of the Burmese extras in the movie were imprisoned. He plans to bring survivors before the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) board to raise the profile of their plight.

[...] Stallone is now editing John Rambo, which will be released in January, and said he was trying to work out whether he was making a documentary of a Rambo movie.

Stallone's next challenge is trying to get an "R" rating from the MPAA.

"This is full scale genocide. I want an 'R' and I want the violence in there because it is reality. It would be a whitewashing not to show what's over there," he told Associated Press. [...]

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