Saturday, 19 April 2008


All these figures are rough estimates..They all have the symbol next to them,meaning plus or minus.The plain truth is that nobody really knows exactly how many people died building the railway.The Japanese kept accurate records of their British, Australian and Dutch prisoners , plus the number of deaths and when they occurred, but they destroyed all records of their Asian prisoners.However,it is abundantly clear that the vast majority of the railway workforce was Asian ,vastly outnumbering all the other nationalities.They included Malayans (Tamils ,Malays and Chinese) ,Burmese , Javanese , Singaporean Chinese and Aminese. They had a higher mortality rate than the white men.. About half this Asian workforce perished ,whereas only about one-fifth of the white men died.But these Asians have been forgotten.They do not figure in the film or in the book. No well-trimmed cemeteries exist for them ! No memorials commemorate their sacrifice!