Senior General Than Shwe allegedly forced to retire

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

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.
U Hein Naing

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.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/burmese/highlights/story/2005/08/050823_thanshwedeposed.shtml

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