The Heart Must Break: Burma
Democracy and Truth
by James Mawdsley
About The Book
This is the compelling story of James Mawdsley, a 27 year old man from Lancashire who returned home to Britain at the end 2000 having endured 14 months of solitary confinement and torture in a Burmese prison. Sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for his protests against the brutal military regime of the junta, this was not Mawdsley’s first time to be captured but his third trip to Burma in what was a well thought-out, determined exercise in his campaign to publicize human rights violation in a country terrorised by an illegal regime. Mawdsley describes how he came to leave university, and the promise of academic success, to pursue instead something more purposeful, charting with sensitivity, intelligence and humour, the experiences the lead him to Burma. He goes on to describe his fellow prisoners and his torturers with irony and a kind of sympathetic tenderness. Mawdsley rejects any claim of heroism or bravery and instead reflects on his motives, his ability to survive such isolation and terror — how he discovered a kind of spiritual solace and peace despite his terrifying situation — and what now lies ahead, both for himself, with his new freedom, and for the people of Burma.
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