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The number of Southeast Asian workers recruited or impressed to work on the Burma railway has been estimated to have been more than 180,000 Southeast Asian civilian labourers (rōmusha).

Javanese, Malayan Tamils of Indian origin, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and other Southeast Asians, forcibly drafted by the Imperial Japanese Army to work on the railway, died in its construction.

The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, the Burma–Siam Railway, the Thailand–Burma Railway and similar names, was a 415-kilometre (258 mi) railway between Ban Pong, Thailand, and Thanbyuzayat, Burma, built by the Empire of Japan in 1943 to support its forces in the Burma campaign of World War II.

This railway completed the rail link between Bangkok, Thailand, and Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon).

"The conditions in the coolie camps down river are terrible," Basil says, "They are kept isolated from Japanese and British camps. Special British prisoner parties at Kinsaiyok bury about 20 coolies a day.

The infamous and iconic railroad bridge over the Mae Klong River (or the Kwai Yai River) in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.

The entire span of this bridge is composed of nine curved-truss segments (originals dating back to WWII) and two angular-truss segments (replacements (under war reparations) from Japan after 1945).

Many men in the railway workforce bore the brunt of pitiless or uncaring guards.

Cruelty could take different forms, from extreme violence and torture to minor acts of physical punishment, humiliation and neglect.

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