Intelligence (January - February 2009)
covering burma and southeast asia
Friday, December 15, 2017
Magazine

Intelligence (January - February 2009)


By THE IRRAWADDY JAN — FEB, 2009 - VOLUME 17 NO.1


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The Walls Have Ears
 
Intelligence officers who were active under former spy chief Gen Khin Nyunt say that the Burmese regime has been recruiting undercover police agents and informers to infiltrate dissident and opposition groups ahead of the 2010 election.

The head of Special Operations Bureau (1), Lt-Gen Ye Myint, has ordered new recruits to infiltrate the opposition, both inside and outside Burma, sources said.

The operation will also reportedly include campaigns of psychological warfare and subversive action among dissident groups.

Though Burma’s powerful Office of the Chief of Military Intelligence was abolished in October 2004, in recent months the ruling junta has begun to revamp its intelligence unit—now renamed “Military Security Affairs.” Sources told The Irrawaddy that it has recruited some former members of the intelligence services. 

Exiled Burmese groups in Thailand said they believe that members of the Military Security Affairs may have already penetrated exiled dissident organizations as several Web sites and blogs believed to be run by pro-military agents recently distributed disinformation about exiled groups in an apparent effort to create mistrust among the dissident community in Thailand.


24-karat Hospitality

Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo
(Photo: AFP)
The art of selecting precious stones has become an important task for staff at the powerful quartermaster-general’s office in Naypyidaw.

Headed by Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, the bureau is delegated the honor of choosing gems, such as rubies and jade, which are cut and polished before being presented to visiting VIPs.

However, the bureaucrats don’t have to rummage too far—their office is responsible for storing all the stones and gems that have been confiscated from smugglers and illegal mines in the northern Shan and Kachin states.

According to intelligence sources, senior UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari, were among the visitors who received the gifts.

In fact, after several trips to the country, Gambari was nicknamed “Kyauk yu pyan,” meaning “One who takes gems and leaves.”

While many may regard the act as bribery, the regime’s leaders see presenting the nation’s plundered wealth to foreign dignitaries as simply an act of hospitality.

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