Monday, August 10, 2009

Burma’s Future Hangs on the Suu Kyi Trial Verdict

The Irrawaddy News

Unless the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi is again adjourned, a verdict will be given on Tuesday. It will demonstrate how the Burmese regime responds to calls by the people of Burma and the international community for an urgent start national reconciliation.

Suu Kyi faces a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment if convicted of violating the terms of her house arrest by sheltering the American John Yettaw after he entered her home illegally in May. Her trial has dragged on for three months while the US, European governments and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have all called for her release.

In one of the most recent appeals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week urged the junta to free all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, after convening a meeting of the "Group of Friends" of Burma. The group consists of 15 countries—Burma's neighbors, interested Asian and European nations, and the five permanent UN Security Council members, the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.

"I expect that the authorities of Myanmar [Burma] will respond positively and in a timely manner to the expectations and concerns and repeated calls of the international community to release all political prisoners and particularly Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," Ban told reporters.

However, on the eve of Suu Kyi’s “judgment day,” there is no sign of a change of heart by the generals.

Security forces have been deployed increasingly on the streets of the old capital, Rangoon, since the trial began. Over the weekend, the state-controlled media warned that the junta may be preparing a significant crackdown.

"Demanding [the] release of Daw Suu Kyi means showing reckless disregard for the law," said a commentary in the state-run English-language newspaper, New Light of Myanmar.

But the constant postponements in the trial may be a signal that the junta is at least examining the consequences of possible domestic and international anger if a tough verdict is handed down. As The Irrawaddy reported on Monday (The Irrawaddy online: “Regime Reportedly Divided over Suu Kyi Sentence”), sources within the Burmese army are also saying the delays are caused by disagreements within the military regime over how severely to punish her.

Whatever the court decides on Tuesday, the Burmese military leaders need to find a way to release Suu Kyi and to start immediately a political dialogue with the opposition for the sake of the country.

A recent suggestion by Singapore's Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong offers food for thought. Fielding questions at a luncheon conference on Asia-Middle East engagement with editors and senior journalists from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, China and India last week, Goh said: "Leadership is important, law and order, a pro-business environment; work out the necessary strategy for Myanmar. If it pursues the right path, the right economic policies, in 10 years, you’ll boom."

In that way, Burma's military can demonstrate, by dropping the charge against Suu Kyi, freeing all political prisoners and immediately starting political dialogue, that they can change their political position from being part of the problem to part of the solution. It’s to be hoped that Suu Kyi and her opposition will follow that path.

It is time to grab this opportunity. If it’s missed, Burma's miseries will just continue with no end in sight.

READ MORE---> Burma’s Future Hangs on the Suu Kyi Trial Verdict...

Regime Reportedly Divided Over Suu Kyi Sentence

The Irrawaddy News

The delays in the court proceeding against Aung San Suu Kyi are caused by disagreements within the military regime over how severely to punish her, according to Burmese army sources.

Some generals—notably Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, Secretary 1 of the ruling military council—are said to want to see her imprisoned. Others are reportedly in favor of a more lenient sentence for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was being held in house detention until the start of her trial in May.

Among those who appear to be reluctant to commit Suu Kyi to prison is Gen Thura Shwe Mann, Coordinator of Special Operations, Army, Navy and Air Force, according to the army source—who told The Irrawaddy he wanted to see Suu Kyi sentenced “within the framework of the law.”

Htay Aung, a Burmese military researcher based in Thailand, also said that some senior military generals are divided over the trial, with one faction keen to see Suu Kyi sentenced to a term of imprisonment, isolating her from the general election planned for 2010, and others wanting to apply the due process of law.

“The trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was postponed because some military generals wanted to consider it from a legal point of view,” said Htay Aung. He thought international pressure on the regime also played a part in the postponements.

Tin Aung Myint Oo is close to paramount leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe, who promoted the battle-hardened hardliner to the rank of four-star general in late March.

The general is also close to Aung Thaung, minister for Industry (1), an extreme nationalist believed to be one of the masterminds of the Depayin massacre in May 2003, when Suu Kyi’s motorcade was ambushed in central Burma. He is said to harbor a deep hatred of Suu Kyi.

Military sources suggest the rise of Tin Aung Myint Oo has intimidated a faction headed by the regime’s No 3, Gen Shwe Mann, who has been groomed to succeed Than Shwe. Lately, the general has been in charge of national security and the coordination of army, navy and air force.

Shwe Mann so far is loyal to Than Shwe but rivals are closely watching his relationship with business tycoons and some Burmese scholars, army sources told The Irrawaddy. The sources also disclosed that Information Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan, a close ally of Shwe Mann, has been sidelined in the power struggle with the Tin Aung Myint Oo faction. But so far Shwe Mann has saved the information minister from the sack.

Observers inside Burma say Aung Thaung and Tin Aung Myint Oo are working together with the police and ministry of interior to influence the outcome of Suu Kyi’s trial.

Police Chief Gen Khin Yi and Minister of Home Affairs Maung Oo are close to the Tin Aung Myint Oo faction, and Khin Yi had been holding press briefings on Suu Kyi. It is believed that hardliners have instructed the police chief to concoct the case against Suu Kyi.

Last Friday, Gen Khin Yi claimed in comments to reporters that John William Yettaw, the American whose intrusion into Suu Kyi’s home initiated the case against her, had connections with Burmese exiled groups.

The police chief also denied media reports that the regime had plotted with Yettaw. Speculation continues to circulate in Rangoon that Yettaw had received a large sum of money from regime leaders to intrude into Suu Kyi’s home in May. It’s also speculated that Aung Thaung collaborated with Than Shwe and Tin Aung Myint Oo to concoct the case against Suu Kyi.

READ MORE---> Regime Reportedly Divided Over Suu Kyi Sentence...

Asia's leaders condemn Aung San Suu Kyi's continued detention

by Larry Jagan

Bangkok (Mizzima) - As Aung San Suu Kyi awaits her fate at the hands of the Burma’s military regime, more Asian leaders are lending their voices to the international demand for her immediate release. The judges are scheduled to announce the verdict on Tuesday in the court inside Insein prison where she is on trial for allegedly breaking the conditions of her house arrest when she gave food and shelter to an uninvited American intruder, who swam to the back of her lakeside residence. If she is found guilty, she faces a maximum of five years in jail. She has already spent more than 13 of the last 20 years in detention.

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued detention shames all of Asia,” the former South Korean president and fellow Nobel Peace laureate, Kim Dae Jung said recently. It is a travesty of justice that cannot be tolerated by the international community he added. “Burma’s authoritarian rulers have suppressed the people for too long.”

Kim Dae Jung and the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim have both joined the campaign urging concerted international action on behalf of the detained Burmese opposition leader. They were amongst more than a hundred former political prisoners who signed a statement released on the eve of Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birtday, (on 19 June), calling for her release and for the United Nations Security Council to establish a global arms embargo on Burma. The political prisoners signed the statement as part of the continuing campaign organised by Amnesty International to draw attention to Aung San Suu Kyi’s plight,

Amnesty International believes that the participation of key Asian political personalities like Anwar and Kim shows that Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued unjustified detention is an international concern – not just that of Europe and the United States.

“The willingness of Anwar Ibrahim and Kim Dae Jung to join the campaign to free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's other political prisoners is critically important, as it gives the lie to the notion -- voiced most often by the generals in Myanmar and their defenders in China and Russia -- that Daw Suu Kyi is a concern only of the West,” Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty’s Bangkok-based Burma researcher told Mizzima.

“ASEAN’s policy of non-intervention is not helping to serve regional interests,” said Anwar. “We need to work together in ASEAN for regional stability and prosperity. Political progress in Burma is an integral part of this, including the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners,” he said.

Anwar Ibrahim, whose official title is Dato' Seri Anwar, is currently the de facto leader of one of Malaysia’s main opposition parties Keadilan, the People’s Justice Party. Following mass protests calling for political reform in 1997, he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and to another nine years for sodomy in 2009. He reportedly endured six years in solitary confinement. In 2004 his conviction was reversed and he was released. Subsequently the Malaysian government, fearing his popularity in the country brought fresh charges against him and his new trial is about to start.

Over the weekend Mizzima was able to conduct an exclusive interview with the Malayisan politician.

Q: What do you think of the charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and what would you say if she is sentenced to jail?

A: The charges are contrived and have been made simply to deny Aung San Suu Kyi the freedom that she is entitled to and that has been denied to her for so many years. It is quite clear that the democratic contagion which is sweeping across Southeast Asia has made inroads into Myanmar such that the generals are fearful of what she can achieve as a free citizen leading her people. I think her continued imprisonment would be a tragedy for Myanmar and an embarrassment to the international community’s efforts to bring a measure of justice to Myanmar.

Q: What does Aung San Suu Kyi mean to you personally – do you draw inspiration from her courage; do you see a parallel with your own struggle and your own personal history?

A: She is an inspiration to all who struggle to free their country or people from the chains that bind them and who fight for freedom and justice. I see in her a reflection of the spirit of the late Cory Aquino whose memory we celebrate this week as one of Asia’s most heroic women leaders.

We are in a similar fight in Malaysia but it would not be accurate to say that conditions in Malaysia and Myanmar are similar. The situation is far worse in Myanmar. But I can empathise with her personal situation. We in Malaysia have fought hard against laws that deprive personal freedoms and permit detention without trial or due process, most recently in the demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur in August against the Internal Security Act.

Q: Why should the junta free her – of course it’s a human rights issue, but what is Burma and Asia missing out on by her continued detention?

A: The junta should free her because she is the leader of the democracy movement in her country. She is the legitimate choice of her people as expressed in an election that took place in 1990 whose results have been ignored by the junta. All of free Asia should join in one voice to press for Myanmar’s immediate transition to democracy. Isn’t 47 years of military rule long enough to be ended for a people willing and able to move out of the shadows of military dictatorship and economic stagnation?

Q: What can the international community do to get her released; do you agree with sanctions, or should there be renewed engagement?

A: The policy of constructive engagement has clearly failed as we see members of the junta and the generals deriving massive financial benefits from contracts and business deals without any inclination to change repressive policies and redress the massive denial of basic human rights of the people of Myanmar. It is critical that the centers of power in Asia take a firm stand on this issue. India, China, Japan and the Asean bloc must be vocal in condemning the ongoing persecution of Suu Kyi and the other political prisoners held in Myanmar. Along with the United Nations, the European Union and the United States, the international community must make common cause in pressuring the junta to agree to a timetable for Myanmar’s transition to democratic rule. Pressure – diplomatic, political and cultural – should be applied but not economic sanctions as they would impoverish an already beleaguered people.

Anwar and Kim are being joined by many more voices throughout Asia, as Aung San Suu Kyi faces the grim prospect of another five years in jail. “The issue isn't the freedom of a single woman, or even of 2,160 other political prisoners, but the advancement of human rights that are as important in Malaysia and South Korea as they are in Myanmar -- or the West. It is indeed the international community that is demanding change in Myanmar,” said Benjamin Zawacki.

The top general Than Shwe must be in doubt that the eyes of the world are watching the current events in Burma, and if Aung San Suu Kyi is not released soon international pressure is set to increase further.

READ MORE---> Asia's leaders condemn Aung San Suu Kyi's continued detention...

Suu Kyi, junta part of burma's problem and solution: Goh

By Supalak Ganjanakhundee

The Nation -Singapore views Burma's military junta and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as equal parts of both that country's problems and the solution leading to its democratisation, its leaders said at the weekend.

They also pointed out that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), of which Burma is a member, has no ability to play a crucial role in making changes in the military-ruled country.

Burma's political situation has been in stalemate for nearly two decades, since the junta refused to hand over power to Aung San Suu Kyi when her National League for Democracy won a 1990 election. Instead, they put her in jail. She is now on trial again after being visited by an American, John Yettaw, who swam across Inya Lake in May to reach her home, where she is still confined.

"In the view of the West, Aung San Suu Kyi is seen as the solution. But in my view, she is [only a] part of the solution, she cannot be the [whole] solution. At the same time, she is also part of the problem," said Singapore's former prime minister Goh Chok Tong.

He said Suu Kyi should not think that her National League for Democracy party remained the "legitimate government" that was "thrown aside" by the armed forces 19 years ago.

"In Third-World countries, once there is a coup, you are out. You can't be going back. If she wants to come back to take charge of a government, then she must find a way to win the next elections, which should be held next year," Goh told visiting journalists from Asean countries and the Middle East.

Goh said a national reconciliation plan that would bring Burma on to a democratic path could not leave out the military. It has been given a quarter of the seats in parliament, control of key ministries and the right to suspend the Constitution at will.

"You can't just take away the army and let the people run the country," he said. "They have to worry about their own lives, the lives of their families, their own careers. Therefore they have to be a part of the solution, even though they are now a part of the problem."

Goh, who visited Burma in June, said he had told the junta's paramount leader Than Shwe that next year's election must be free, fair and legitimate, and all parties, including Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, must participate.

"[I told him:] if Aung San Suu Kyi is not allowed to participate, you may win the election, but many Myanmars (Burmese) and people outside Myanmar will say this is not a legitimate election because the force that could have defeated you was not allowed to participate," Goh said.

In a separate meeting with Asean journalists, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he agreed with Goh, who is now a senior minister.

He said Burma had an opportunity to adjust its stance because the United States had a new government under President Barack Obama, who was ready to rethink its position, and Europe was also changing its position.

"Therefore, there are some opportunities for Myanmar to take suggestions, to shift its position; adjust its position. Not completely, but starting from where they are and showing that they understand this and make improvements," he said.

Lee said Burma should make changes by itself. Asean's ability to move anything in Burma was very limited because interactions and trade relations with Burma were not large enough to have any influence.

"Within Asean, Thailand is most significant. But when Asean buys gas from Myanmar, I think Thailand is dependant on Myanmar, not Myanmar is dependant on Thailand," he said.

READ MORE---> Suu Kyi, junta part of burma's problem and solution: Goh...

Kokang Thwart Burma Army Drug Raid

The Irrawaddy News

Tension is high between the Burmese military and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), a Kokang ceasefire group, following an attempted drug raid by some 70 Burmese troops on the house of the Kokang group’s chairman on Saturday, according to sources in the area.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burmese analyst based at the Sino-Burmese border, told The Irrawaddy that the Burmese army stood down after a standoff that lasted five and a half hours.

The MNDAA chairman, Peng Jiasheng [Burmese: Phon Kyar Shin], reportedly ordered 300 of his soldiers to block the route in anticipation of the Burmese army attempting a raid. The Burmese were encircled by Kokang insurgents while negotiations took place, said Aung Kyaw Zaw.

Kokang leader Peng Jiasheng poses for a photograph with Kokang children at a local festival on February 3. (Photo: www.

Peng reportedly told the Burmese army that they could search his home if they entered unarmed. Otherwise, he reportedly said he would order his troops to open fire on them. With no solution in sight, the Burmese army retreated.

Meanwhile, about 10,000 Kokang residents in Laogai Township fled to the Chinese border on Saturday in fear of clashes between the two armies, according to the sources.

Tensions escalated further on Sunday when Peng Jiasheng refused to meet Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, the northeastern regional commander, according to the border sources.

The Burmese regional commander allegedly wanted to meet his Kokang counterpart regarding the Kokang ceasefire group’s recent rejection of a Burmese military proposal to transform the MNDAA battalions into border guard forces.

Mai Aik Phone, who is close to several ceasefire groups in the area, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that more Burmese troops have been deployed in the region following the MNDAA’s rejection of the proposal.

“It is obvious they [the Burmese army] are threatening the Kokang people and their army by dispatching more troops into the area,” he said.

However, the two analysts estimated that the Burmese military will not take strong action against the Kokang group at the moment because of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ongoing trial and the fact that the country is due to hold general elections next year.

According to various sources at the Sino-Burmese border, the Burmese military has established a Regional Operations Command (ROC) with seven infantry battalions in Kokang territory in recent months.

The ethnic Kokang army was originally assigned status as an autonomous region of northern Shan State after the Kokang and the Wa army defected from the Communist Party of Burma in 1989.

Along with the Wa, the Kokang are believed to be involved in the drug trade, according to international anti-narcotic agencies. However, Kokang leaders have claimed their territory has been drug-free since 2003.

Meanwhile, the Burmese military has reportedly deployed more troops around ethnic armed ceasefire groups’ areas in the wake of the groups’ refusals to transform to border guard duties.

In recent months, the junta has pressured Burma’s ceasefire groups to participate in the forthcoming election in 2010. The junta has reportedly encouraged them to give up their arms in the post-election period.

READ MORE---> Kokang Thwart Burma Army Drug Raid...

Lawyer’s Detention Shakes China’s Rights Movement

In mid-July, Xu Zhiyong, center, a legal scholar, met with lawyers at a restaurant in Beijing.
Later that month, he was detained.


BEIJING (NYT)— China’s nascent legal rights movement, already reeling from a crackdown on crusading lawyers, the kidnapping of defense witnesses and the shuttering of a prominent legal clinic, has been shaken by the detention of a widely respected rights defender who has been incommunicado since the police led him away from his apartment 12 days ago.

The man who was detained, Xu Zhiyong, 36, a soft-spoken and politically shrewd legal scholar who has made a name representing migrant workers, death row inmates and the parents of babies poisoned by tainted milk, is accused of tax evasion. The charge is almost universally seen here as a cover for his true offense: angering the Communist Party leadership through his advocacy of the rule of law.

If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison.

“We’re all shocked by his detention, because Xu Zhiyong has always tried to avoid taking on radical and politically sensitive cases,” said Teng Biao, a colleague. “His only interest is fighting for the rights of the vulnerable and trying to enhance China’s legal system.”

Mr. Teng helped Mr. Xu establish the Open Constitution Initiative, a six-year-old nonprofit legal center that the authorities closed last month, charging that it was improperly registered and that it failed to pay taxes.

Mr. Xu is not the first rights advocate in China to face the wrath of the authorities in recent years. Gao Zhisheng, a vocal lawyer, vanished into police custody six months ago, and Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer, was beaten and then jailed after exposing abuses in China’s birth-control program.

Although rights lawyers and grass-roots social organizations have always been tightly controlled here, the pressure has intensified in recent weeks. More than 20 lawyers known for taking on politically tinged cases were effectively disbarred, and the police raided a group that works to ease discrimination against people with Hepatitis B.

Last week, China’s justice minister gave a speech saying that lawyers should above all obey the Communist Party and help foster a harmonious society. To improve discipline, the minister said, all law firms in the country would be sent party liaisons to “guide their work.”

But given Mr. Xu’s international stature and reputation for working within the law, legal scholars both in China and abroad say his prosecution suggests a new level of repression.

“What makes his detention particularly disturbing is that he’s a special figure in so many ways,” said Paul Gewirtz, director of the China Law Center at Yale Law School, which helped Mr. Xu establish his legal center, known here by its Chinese name, Gongmeng. “He’s at the forefront of advancing the rule of law, which is something everyone agrees China needs for its ongoing development.”

After 30 years of reform, China’s legal system is at a critical juncture. Law schools continue to pump out thousands of graduates each year, and the courts, even if imperfect, have increasingly become a forum for resolving disputes. Late last month the Supreme People’s Court announced reforms intended to markedly reduce executions.

But as lawyers here discover, there are limits to China’s embrace of judicial reform.

The Constitution, which includes guarantees of free speech and human rights, is unenforceable in court. Judges routinely ignore evidence, making determinations based on political considerations. And when it comes to vaguely defined offenses like “subversion of state power” or the invoking of “state secrets” laws, even the best-trained lawyers are powerless to defend the accused.

He Weifang, a law professor and legal adviser to Gongmeng, said conservative forces in the Communist Party were increasingly wary of lawyers, who they suspect are ultimately seeking to challenge one-party rule. Their greatest fear, Mr. He said, is that advocacy lawyers and civil society organizations could one day lead a pro-democracy movement among the poor and disenfranchised citizens they represent.

“What the authorities don’t appreciate, though, is that lawyers are leading these people to the courts, where their complaints can be resolved by rule of law,” he said. “People like Xu Zhiyong can only help the government solve some of the problems it faces.”

According to Gongmeng, Mr. Xu is being held at the Beijing No. 1 Detention Center, although public security officials have not confirmed that he is in their custody. Peng Jian, a lawyer who is advising Gongmeng, said the authorities had imposed a $208,000 penalty for nonpayment of taxes due on donations from Yale.

A day after the raid on Gongmeng’s office, Mr. Xu held a news conference to say that the accusations were baseless. He described the attack on his research center as a battle between corrupt officials and society’s most vulnerable citizens. “We believe conscience will surely triumph over the evil forces,” he said.

A week later, police officers came to his door and led him away. Another employee of the research center, Zhuang Lu, was also taken away the same day.

Soon after graduating from Peking University law school, Mr. Xu became immersed in the case of a 27-year-old graphic artist who was beaten to death in 2003 in police custody in the southern city of Guangzhou. The artist, Sun Zhigang, had been arrested under vagrancy laws that allowed the police to detain people for traveling outside their registered hometowns without a permit.

Mr. Xu led a campaign to end the practice, which gained widespread media attention. A few months later, the State Council abolished the system.

That same year Mr. Xu rose to the defense of a muckraking editor jailed in Guangzhou after his newspaper, Southern Metropolis, ran a series of articles about Mr. Sun’s death. The editor, Cheng Yizhong, said Mr. Xu helped rally lawyers and journalists, leading to his release five months later. “Only Xu had the courage to take on my case,” he said.

More recently, he tried to build a case against black jails, the illegal holding cells that some officials use to silence persistent critics. Last year, friends say, he was roughed up several times while gathering evidence from petitioners who had come to Beijing to press their grievances to the central government.

Raised in a Christian home in Henan Province, Mr. Xu was fond of noting his birth in a county called Minquan, which translates as “civil rights.” In an interview last year with The Economic Observer, a Chinese weekly, he said this had a profound impact on his social consciousness.

“I strive to be a worthy Chinese citizen, a member of the group of people who promote the progress of the nation,” he said. “I want to make people believe in ideals and justice, and help them see the hope of change.”

Jonathan Ansfield contributed reporting, and Huang Yuanxi contributed research.

READ MORE---> Lawyer’s Detention Shakes China’s Rights Movement...

Senior General Than Shwe allegedly forced to retire

The deputy and the deposed: is this really the end of Sr. Gen Than Shwe?

(BBC-UK) -For thirteen years, Sr. Gen Than Shwe and his family stayed on top of the Burmese military government, featuring prominently in nightly news and steadfastly refusing to hand power to election winner National League for Democracy.

Now the man who joined the army at 20 has been forced to retire by Deputy Sr. Gen Maung Aye because of nepotism and corruption, according to sources close to the government.

News blackout?

The news has not been confirmed but a resident at the China-Burma border insists it is genuine, saying regional commanders and those close to high profile members of SPDC have been told.

Other sources at the Burmese border also says the armies have been barred from using wireless communication which could be intercepted, a sign that the army might be trying to suppress the news.

U Hein Naing tells BBC Burmese he heard it from a reliable source who has links to the high offices at SPDC.

Impossible to for him to stay

"Every Monday, there is a military council meeting. It is during this meeting that the "five-men group" led by Gen Maung Aye decided to retire U Than Shwe because it is now impossible for him to stay in office. The "group" concluded that the army could disintegrate if U Than Shwe continues as head of the state."

The "five-men group" led by Gen Maung Aye... concluded that the army could disintegrate if U Than Shwe continues as head of the state.

U Hein Naing says the "group" consists of Deputy Sr. Gen Maung Aye, Lt-Gen Thein Sein and Gen Shwe Man who is considered an ally of the deposed leader.

The decision stems from the need to protect the integrity of the army as Sr. Gen Than Shwe seems concerned only with himself and his cronies' interests, he says.

"Even in the army, only those close to him get anywhere. This has reached a stage where Gen Maung Aye feels he has to step in and stop it."

He heard that Sr. Gen Than Shwe is charged with helping, supporting and protecting U Tay Za's businesses. U Tay Za is a Burmese businessman rumoured to be close to the Senior General's family.

Nepotism or health problems?

"U Than Shwe doesn't accept his forced retirement. But he no longer has the backing of the army and the group trying to depose him now has more power so I heard he had to agree."

U Than Shwe doesn't accept his forced retirement. But he no longer has the backing of the army.

Meanwhile, life in the capital continues to be normal. Very few people are aware of the latest news.

Rangoon watchers say the retirement could be a result of Sr. Gen Than Shwe's deteriorating health condition. They say the tight security at No (2) Military Hospital in central Rangoon since yesterday indicates he is in poor health.

READ MORE---> Senior General Than Shwe allegedly forced to retire...

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too