Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thai paper: "Than Shwe nearing end"

The English language Thai newspaper The Nation has published a report saying that Burmese dictator General Than Shwe may be fighting a losing struggle to stay in power in the nation now known as Myanmar.

Citing sources close to the ruling military junta, the article states that the general has returned from a two week medical stay in Singapore after fears were raised that he developed intestinal cancer. Apparently, the fears of cancer were ungrounded, but the general is reported to be in generally poor health, and has been visibly absent from high profile events, leading to speculation that he is either dying. Even worse, it appears that it appears certain that he's engaged in a life or death power struggle with the junta's number two man, Deputy Senior General Maung Aye.

Than Shwe's ouster may seem positive, but Maung Aye is certainly no reformer himself. The ruling military junta, which seized power in 1990 in a notorious nullified election, has one of the world's worst human rights records, and is rumored to be a partner in the world's largest heroin trafficking trade. Did I mention there's French oil money involved, too?

Relatively unconcerned with foreign trade sanctions, outrage from human rights groups, and general opprobrium, it appears that the military will remain in power after the dust from their internal squabbles clears. Granted, the usual suspects will continue to draft solemn, strongly worded Letters of Concern deploring This or That Hideous Human Rights Abuse, etc., but when it comes down the brass tacks, the Army is more concerned with internal coups than UN disapproval, and no amount of non-violent external pressure will get them to relinquish power, much less restore democracy, after nearly 45 years of military rule. So much for diplomacy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

all ours amigos
what we want
new dictators-no
new leaders - psssable (fr)
all off us are gentlemen
let it be
rec russian official