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Home > Main Library > Politics and Government > Myanmar Union Government (MUG)/State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) > Internal regime politics

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Internal regime politics

Individual Documents

Title: Ruling Party Purge Confirms Doubts over Democratic Reforms
Date of publication: 28 August 2015
Description/subject: "The sudden ouster of Shwe Mann from Burma’s ruling party reconfirmed that the military is not about to relinquish power... The sudden removal of one of Myanmar’s most powerful men sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community in the old capital of Yangon, where foreign embassies are still located. It seemed more like a midnight coup than an ordinary leadership reshuffle—security forces in the new capital, Naypyidaw, entered the headquarters of the de facto ruling party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, or USDP, late August 12. The following day, it was announced that Shwe Mann, the speaker of the Lower House of Myanmar’s bicameral parliament, a former general and anticipated by some foreign observers to be the country’s next president, had been ousted..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 August 2015


Title: The Long Goodbye
Date of publication: October 2010
Description/subject: Open questions hang over Than Shwe’s post-election intentions... "The delegation that accompanied Burmese junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe to China in September included, apart from members of his family and trusted aides, several representatives of a new generation of military officers—prompting suggestions that he introduced Burma’s future government leaders to Beijing. He left some questions hanging, however. Who, for instance, is likely to be Burma’s next commander-in-chief and president? More importantly, what lies ahead for Than Shwe himself?..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2012


Title: The Spring before Khin Nyunt's Fall
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: "For a while, the Burmese junta looked like it might be ready to meet the West halfway. The ouster of the regime's spy chief ended all that...In an extensive interview with The Irrawaddy, Aung Lynn Htut provided an inside look at this pivotal time in recent Burmese history, when the ruling regime seemed to be ready to turn a new page in its relations with the West. As he revealed, however, it was also a period of intensifying rivalries within the junta. Before Khin Nyunt could begin his experiment in reshaping ties with the US and other Western countries, he had to get a green light from the SPDC's top leader, Snr-Gen Than Shwe..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2008


Title: Aung Thaung: Burma’s Untouchable Minister
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: He is ‘well off’ and ‘well connected,’ two things that ensure protection... "...Born in Thaung Tha, 80 km west of Mandalay Division, Aung Thaung served in the army for several years, fighting communist insurgents and earning the trust of regime leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe. The bespectacled minister is known to see eye-to-eye with Than Shwe and is so much in the elderly general’s confidence that he sometimes breakfasts with him and his family, a special privilege in the Burmese hierarchy. Aung Thaung is a leading member of the government-backed mass organization Union Solidarity and Development Association, and Western diplomats and some former student leaders in Rangoon believe he is behind attacks by USDA thugs o­n pro-democracy activists, which have increased in number and ferocity since the UN Security Council vote. He is also thought to have organized demonstrations against the US-led initiative outside the American and British embassies in Rangoon..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 15, No.6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Papering Over the Cracks
Date of publication: March 2006
Description/subject: Burma's military is riven by internal conflicts. Snr-Gen Than Shwe, however, seems completely unfazed... "Burma's military leaders began expanding their army, navy and air force soon after crushing the nationwide democracy uprising in 1988. With the help of powerful neighbors and friends in the West, they began stocking up on new jet fighters, warships, tanks and ammunition. Today, Burma's military is one of the strongest in the region. The country's once powerful rebel armies are now under control, and traditional opposition groups and student activists have been largely obliterated. Despite this, Burma's all-powerful generals have never quite lost their siege mentality. Their incompetence in solving the country's economic and social woes is causing alarm throughout the region. Faced with threats from new, urban opposition, pockets of insurgency and increasing international pressure, Burma remains isolated and the generals paranoid..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Than Shwe—Man in the Iron Mask
Date of publication: February 2005
Description/subject: Burma’s paramount leader may be an unknown figure to most, but he has shown his leadership mettle... "The Burmese hardly know their paramount leader, Snr-Gen Than Shwe. His former close friends knew him as an honest and simple soldier. But even if he lacks charisma and possesses few rounded leadership skills today, he has an iron grip on power..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2005


Title: Tough at the Top
Date of publication: February 2005
Description/subject: Prime Minister Soe Win may follow predecessor Khin Nyunt into the wilderness... ":While reported differences between the Burmese regime’s top two leaders, Snr-Gen Than Shwe and Dep Snr-Gen Maung Aye, remain the focus of speculation in Rangoon, the fate of Prime Minister Lt-Gen Soe Win is also intriguing. Rumors also abound about what exactly is happening to his disgraced predecessor, Gen Khin Nyunt..."
Author/creator: Shawn L. Nance
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2005


Title: Corruption—'That’s Where The Problem Arose' - An Interview with Harn Yawnghwe
Date of publication: 11 November 2004
Description/subject: "In October, Burma’s junta removed prime minister Gen Khin Nyunt. Analysts predict that the country’s future is bleak with even more hard-line army leaders now in control. Looking at the recent purge and political events, The Irrawaddy spoke to Harn Yawnghwe, director of the Brussels-based Euro-Burma office..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 12, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2005


Title: "The beginning of the end or Genuine Reforms?"
Date of publication: 09 November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ANALYSIS (9 November 2004)... Interesting analysis of the recent changes in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office
Format/size: html (57K)
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2004


Title: BURMA - UPDATE
Date of publication: 09 November 2004
Description/subject: Chronology of the recent changes in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office
Format/size: htlm (41K)
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2004


Title: No Honeymoon for Soe Win
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: "We in Burma would like to help the new PM Lt-Gen Soe Win if only he will allow us to. Burma’s new prime minister, Lt-Gen Soe Win, who succeeded Gen Khin Nyunt in October, never had a chance to enjoy a honeymoon period in his new job. One problem after another popped up right after he took up office. Ethnic ceasefire groups who have returned to the legal fold got restive because of Khin Nyunt’s ouster and Soe Win had to fly urgently to the border areas to assure them that Rangoon’s relationship remained unchanged. Another problem landed on Soe Win’s desk when more than 30,000 owners of vehicles imported illegally Thailand, with the connivance of military intelligence officials, showed their unhappiness with the anti-corruption crackdown..."
Author/creator: Amyotheryei Win Naing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 12, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2005


Title: Maj-Gen Kyaw Win—Renaissance Spy
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "OCMI’s wild card is actually a frustrated artist... As The Irrawaddy was going to press the fate of Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, the Deputy Chief of the Office of the Chief of Military Intelligence, or OCMI, was unclear. He wasn’t under arrest, but he wasn’t going to the office either. It’s seems likely that the mild-mannered spook, a protégé of Sr-Gen Than Shwe, was complicit in the coup that unseated PM Gen Khin Nyunt..."
Author/creator: Bruce Hawke
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: One Down, Two to Go
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "The purge in Rangoon heightens the political intrigue in Burma... The sacking of Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt in mid-October came as no great surprise. As Burma’s spymaster for 20 years, Khin Nyunt finally succumbed to his rival Deputy Sr-Gen Maung Aye, who is the vice-chairman of the ruling State Peace and Development Council, or SPDC, and the army chief. Legions of officers associated with the ousted PM have been detained..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 12, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: The Spook goes Down
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "The fall of Asia’s longest-serving intelligence chief.... General Khin Nyunt, the chief of the Office of Military Intelligence, or OCMI, and since August last year prime minister of Burma, took a day off from his hectic schedule of public engagements to celebrate his 65th birthday on October 11. Seven days hence he was going to have a lot more free time..."
Author/creator: Bruce Hawke
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol. 12, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: Befehlsgewalt im Außenamt
Date of publication: 23 September 2004
Description/subject: Myanmar: Besetzung von Schlüsselministerien mit Militärs beendet Hoffnung auf Demokratisierung key words: cabinet reshuffle, ministry of foreign affairs, democratization
Author/creator: Thomas Berger
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: AG Friedensforschung an der Uni Kassel
Format/size: html (6,9k)
Date of entry/update: 01 March 2005


Title: Bedtime Reading for the Generals
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "Why are Khin Nyunt & Co scared to sleep at home? Chances are high that the Burmese intelligence chief, Gen Khin Nyunt, is sleeping in his office tonight. He won’t be alone—several high-ranking members of the regime have made the War Office in Rangoon their second home since the country was rocked by pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: Burma’s Emperors: Wearing New Clothes
Date of publication: September 2003
Description/subject: "Burma’s cabinet reshuffle brought in loyal young blood and consolidated power among the top generals. A sign of change? Or just the same old song and dance?... The August leadership shakeup in Burma took everyone by surprise. In the wake of the Depayin attack on the opposition in May, the unprecedented condemnation from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that followed, and the tightening of US sanctions in July, the military government reshuffled its cabinet, thrusting Gen Khin Nyunt, head of military intelligence, into the Prime Minister seat. It is the first time a spy chief has gone on to chair Burma’s cabinet. Initial reactions to the move were split. Few outside of Bangkok and Beijing heralded it as a major step forward, while the international press deemed the changes "cosmetic surgery" and "window dressing." It’s hard to say if the move is a demotion or a promotion for Khin Nyunt. Too soon to tell, perhaps, but safe to say that the spy master’s job description has been redefined..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2003


Title: New Rivalry Taking Shape?
Date of publication: August 2002
Description/subject: "Rumors of a split within Burma�s ruling military council have long focused on the alleged enmity between Gen Maung Aye and Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt. But now it appears that a new standoff has emerged, with even greater potential to jeopardize the junta�s unity. According to sources in Tokyo and Rangoon, Sr-Gen Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has begun to assert greater authority over the regime�s economic policies, pitting him against its economics czar, Gen David Abel. Abel, who is a minister for the prime minister�s office, is highly regarded by Asian economic planners as a rare realist within Burma�s ruling clique. They see him as a key player in efforts to implement reforms needed to lift the country out of its economic morass. As such, he is a familiar face at regional gatherings aimed at enhancing Burma�s economic engagement with the rest of Asia..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 6, July-August 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010


Title: Ämterkrieg in Rangun
Date of publication: 12 March 2002
Description/subject: Militärregime in Myanmar will angeblichen Umsturzversuch verhindert haben. The regime removed high officials due to an coup d'etat attempt.
Author/creator: Thomas Berger
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: AG Friedensforschung an der Uni Kassel
Format/size: html (6,8k)
Date of entry/update: 01 March 2005


Title: The junta purges one of its own
Date of publication: December 1998
Description/subject: "The junta has appointed a senior diplomat and an ex-colonel to lead the foreign ministry in Rangoon... This year the junta unceremoniously dumped its most high-profile cabinet member, Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw, promoted a relative newcomer, Lt-Gen Tin Hla, as third deputy prime minister, and reassigned or retired nearly two dozen other senior officials. So far, none of those ousted have landed in prison. If they weren’t pushed out because of corruption, then it might have been because of incompetence. Ohn Gyaw, for one, was not regarded as particularly astute and, as a civilian, was well removed from the inner sanctum of power. The SPDC has shot its songbird, but it has not yet changed its tune..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 6 No. 6
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2009