Written by U Ne Oo on 2004-10-20


Date: 20 October 2005

Burma Coup: First in a series of chaotic breakdown

Burma's self-appointed Prime Minister Khin Nyunt was yesterday ousted by his sub-ordinates and claimed the countrie's leadership. This event appears to by the first in a series of breaking up of the military leadership which held political power in Burma since 1962.

Commentators are saying that Gen Khin Nyunt is a more sympathetic towards Burma's political opposition. I dispute this notion of Khin Nyunt as a democracy sympathiser. Gen Khin Nyunt, like many of those that are in military leadership including Gen Than Shwe, are all at hardline against the democratic opposition.

What Gen Khin Nyunt, along with his department of OSS, were able to carried out, over past decade was a show for token compromises with the oppositions -- i.e. both NLD and the ethnic minority resistance groups. By doing so, the need for stepping up of international pressure was delayed and thus able to avoid engaging in with a real dialogue.

SHAME on you to those who do not listen to sensible voices from democratic forces and playing balls with Khin Nyunt and OSS.

Those who initiated so-called "human rights training programs in Burma" and those who help promoted the charade of so-call "road-maps & 7 steps to national convention": you are as despicable as any of the disposed/current junta leaders.


Undoubtedly, the military coup yesterday in Burma was the first real "news" which we can read out from the situation in Burma. The further analysis is needed as to what current elements in military leadership represent regarding political opposition and ethnic minorities.

If the new leadership is more reformist (most unlikely), their first step will be to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo.

If the new leadership is hardline (more likely), there will be more attack on politicial opposition, as well as renewed assault on ethnic minority groups. Inevitably, the consequences throughout the region will be dire.


Message to those who are opposed to sanctions & pressures (which has never been a comprehensive one though), this is a time to cede the sanction and pressure WORKS. Sanction and pressures do break up military leadership at the top. The American Congress, EU, Canada and Great Britain are to be lauded for their efforts on pressuring junta towards a change.


Those who are working for Khin Nyunt and OSS, this is the time to defect to whichever country you were in. Things are tough as always for exiles. But you will not be put in jail, at least.

For our pro-democracy groups, we must open direct communication channels to all who are working for the same ends.

With best regards, U Ne Oo.

Note: my new email address "uneoo@netipr.org". Please update. Old email address "druneoo@chariot.net.au" will cease working by the end of this month.

ANALYSIS : Cloud over peace pacts, democracy

The Nation - Published on October 20, 2004

/The sacking yesterday of Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt from the inner circle of the military junta has sent an eerie chill through the troubled nation - and region./

Domestically, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her campaign for democracy is likely to hit a brick wall because Khin Nyunt, the man who opened communications between the junta and the National League for Democracy (NLD), has been sidelined.

The generals who launched the purge against Khin Nyunt are the same people who spearheaded Suu Kyi's arrest in May last year.

Lt General Soe Win, who was named yesterday as Khin Nyunt's replacement as prime minister, rallied the Union Solidarity Development Association in their brutal attack on Suu Kyi and her supporters in northern Burma last year, prior to her being placed under house arrest. The mob was a pet project of his boss, overall leader Senior General Than Shwe.

Before his elevation to premier yesterday, Soe Win was appointed Secretary One of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in August.

The ongoing dialogue between the junta and the Karen National Union (KNU) is also at stake, because Khin Nyunt orchestrated just about all the cease-fire agreements with the armed rebel group. Five senior members of the KNU are currently in Rangoon "waiting to see how it goes", according to a spokesperson last night.

A senior officer of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), an insurgent group that obtained a cease-fire agreement with Rangoon in 1989, described the purge of Khin Nyunt as a "very serious matter" that could redefine the agreement reached through the former premier.

Thailand's connection with Burma over the last three years has been largely defined by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's "personal diplomacy", which basically meant having faith in Khin Nyunt's ability to secure whatever arrangements were made.

It was Thaksin who stuck his neck out for Khin Nyunt at the Asean summit in Bali last year, calling on the international community to give Rangoon breathing space to push through its so-called "road map" for democracy and national reconciliation.

Now that Khin Nyunt is out of the picture, the future of Thai-Burmese relations is likely to come under intense pressure.

Bangkok yesterday delayed the next instalment of the Export-Import Bank loan to finance a project. The initiative was supposed to be headed by Khin Nyunt's son, Ye Naing Win, who was reportedly detained yesterday with his father.

News of the purge had an immediate effect on Thaksin's family business Shin Satellite, the Thai supplier for the project. Its stock dropped to Bt16.50 at closing yesterday from Bt16.80 on Monday. ShinSat shares had peaked at Bt17.10 in morning trade before plunging after government spokesman Jakrapob Penkair relayed news of developments in Rangoon.

Internationally, there are more repercussions. United Nations' special envoy Razali Ismail, who relied on Khin Nyunt as his point of entry into Burma's top political circle, will have to go back to the drawing board.

Thailand's "Bangkok Process", the road map to democracy and other initiatives aimed at giving Rangoon a more democratic future, are now virtually dead with the departure of Khin Nyunt and former foreign minister Win Aung, who was ousted on September 18 and replaced by a field commander.

Win Aung allegedly warned senior diplomats some weeks back that Khin Nyunt's position as premier was shaky - and yesterday his words were shown to be true.


Coup in Burma:First in the series of Chaotic breakdown