Burmese leopard Than Shwe changing his spots?

Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 03:12 am
Not sure if anybody else is interested in the sweeping changes that have been going on in Burma/Myanmar just recently, but I remember just a few years ago when the military regime was shooting, imprisoning and "disappearing" peaceful demonstrators in the streets. I can only imagine the sense of relief among the Burmese.



Former Myanmar military ruler Than Shwe 'supports new leader'

Myanmar's former military ruler sees erstwhile foe Aung San Suu Kyi as the country's "future leader" and has pledged support for her in a secret meeting, the general's grandson said.

Details of Friday's meeting between the two was revealed by General Than Shwe's grandson, who acted as intermediary. He said in a Facebook post the meeting had lasted two-and-a-half hours.

Ms Suu Kyi led her National League for Democracy (NLD) party to a landslide election victory in October. The election was the first openly contested general election in Myanmar (also known as Burma) in 25 years.
The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Myanmar says 80-year-old General Than Shwe, who headed the country's military junta until he stepped down in 2011, still wields enormous influence.

His grandson Nay Shwe Thway Aung quoted him as having said in the meeting: "It is the truth that she will become the future leader of the country," and "I will support her with all of my efforts".
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Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 11:38 am
I don't know much about what's going on.
But I'm here to learn
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 06:36 pm
This is the guy who ordered Aung San Suu Kyi to be kept under house arrest for all those years. The same guy who ordered the military to shoot, beat and abduct protestors several times over the years. Also, since the Burmese constitution guarantees that 25% of the representative seats must be held by the military, this guy's support might make it possible for Suu Kyi to change the constitution, maybe even become president.


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Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 06:51 pm
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 06:58 pm
Among other things, it means that there'll be peace with the insurgents in the north. They're ethnic minorities who've been fighting the gov't for a long time.

It also signals the end of economic sanctions from the West, so the people might actually be able to lift themselves out of grinding poverty again. Burma used to be one of the wealthiest SE Asian countries, before the military took over.

There have also been rumors over the years of collaboration with North Korea on biological and/or chemical weapons facilities. That will be over and done with, for sure.

This isn't really headline news in the West, yet, but I think it will be when the new president is chosen. Suu Kyi said that she will choose him/her and really be the de facto president, anyway. The constitution currently prevents her from becoming the official prez.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 08:55 pm
FBM wrote:
Among other things, it means that there'll be peace with the insurgents in the north. They're ethnic minorities who've been fighting the gov't for a long time.

What about the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya?
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 09:02 pm
That's a good question, and a separate one from the rebels in the north. I'd hope and expect that Suu Kyi has more of a humanitarian approach than the outgoing regime. She has more popular appeal than that psycho Buddhist monk who's advocating violence, so maybe she can shut him up, too.
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