Letter: Death Railway no longer runs

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The Independent Online
Sir: I hesitate to take issue with the marvellous Thomas Sutcliffe, but my favourite read of the day (Television, 6 August) was disturbed by his contention that the Death Railway in Burma still runs - "it may not have been worth dying for, but it has a continuing use". The line was torn up many years ago, and what I saw earlier this year were haunting gaps in the jungle where the line had been hacked, chasms where bridges had hung.

Worse, there is a plan to rebuild part of the line at least - by using Japanese investment money to re-create the railway as a tourist trap. The next-of-kin of British soldiers who died there, some of whom were my companions on this trip, were predictably anguished and outraged. Especially as at the line at the river Kwai they saw only a monument applauding this "feat of Japanese engineering" - the deaths of tens of thousands get no mention.

B F JAMES

London E1

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