A Victim of the Junta’s Dog-Eat-Dog World
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A Victim of the Junta’s Dog-Eat-Dog World

By WAI MOE Thursday, November 5, 2009


Win Aung, a former foreign minister and one of ex-spy chief Gen Khin Nyunt’s aides, died on Wednesday morning at 1:55 a.m. local time in Rangoon’s infamous Insein Prison. He was 65.

According to prison sources in Rangoon, Win Aung died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Burmese authorities allowed Win Aung’s family to post his obituary in Thursday’s state-run newspapers.

Late former Foreign Minister Win Aung addresses a United Nations meeting. (PHOTO: un.org)

He is survived by his wife, one daughter and two sons. His younger son, Thaung Suu Nyein, is the editor-in-chief of a leading Rangoon-based weekly, 7 Days News Journal.  

Win Aung was arrested in September 2004, a month before a government crackdown on powerful Military Intelligence officers. The junta announced Win Aung and his deputy Khin Maung Win’s retirement following news that Win Aung had told senior officials at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministry meeting in Jakarta in July 2004 that Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt was in political trouble. 

“He [Khin Nyunt] is in a dangerous position,” Win Aung was quoted as saying. “Khin Nyunt may have to flee the country. If that happens, I will have to flee with him.”

Win Aung was replaced by Maj-Gen Nyan Win, the deputy head of the military training college who was junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s choice.

After his arrest, Wing Aung was detained under house arrest for two years. In 2006, he was sentenced to a 7-year jail term on charges of misuse of authority. He was detained in Insein Prison until he died.

Win Aung served as Burma’s foreign minister under the military regime from 1998 to 2004. He had previously been Burmese ambassador to Germany and the United Kingdom before being recalled to Burma to take up the foreign minister position.

Win Aung led a Burmese delegation to the UN General Assembly in September 2003 a few months after a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s convoy in Depayin had led to international criticism of the regime and economic sanctions on Burma.

At the UN, he said it was “disconcerting that some countries have chosen to turn a blind eye to the reality.”

In his earlier days, Win Aung was an officer with Military Intelligence. As a major, he was close to then spy chief Brig-Gen Tin Oo, the No 2 in the country after dictator Ne Win.

Following Tin Oo’s removal, Win Aung was reappointed as a counsel-general with several Burmese consulates in Asia in the early 1980s.  

Fluent in English, Win Aung was said to be media savvy with foreign journalists. Unlike current Foreign Minister Nyan Win, he was willing to give regular interviews with foreign media, including Time Magazine.

“I am a democratic person myself,” Win Aung told Time in 1999. “I would like my children and myself to live under a real democratic situation.”

He added that this sentiment was also held by junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe and other members of the junta.

Before his removal from the foreign minister post, he wrote religious and political articles under the pen name of Sithu Nyein Aye.

Burma observers generally concurred that Win Aung was one of the first senior junta officials to become a victim of the dog-eat-dog world that exists in Burma’s military hierarchy.  

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U Saw Oo Wrote:
RE: Aung M.O;

You may add following persons to your list

X-Deputy PM: Gen Tin Hla
S3: Gen Win Myint
Gen Tun Kyi
Gen Kyaw Ba
Gen Myint Aung
Gen Myo Nyun

ko Pho Sit Wrote:
If junta so desires all people to be ruled by law, they should open the people to sue them whenever they commit misuse of authority.

myo aung Wrote:
Mikhail Gorbachev related the following story. A Russian peasant finds a lamp by the side of the road and rubs it and a genie appears. The genie asks the peasant for his one wish. The peasant tells the genie “you know I only have three cows but my neighbour has ten cows”. The genie asks the peasant “so do you want twenty cows?” “No” replies the peasant “I want you to kill seven of my neighbour’s cows.” This story reveals the mind set of today’s society, where jealousy and hatred fuel destructive tendencies towards our fellow men on the route to material progress.DOGS EAT DOGS

tocharian Wrote:
Burma is full of hypocrites. One less but millions more to go.

Aung M.O. Wrote:
Yes, it is exactly the correct word - Dog-Eat-Dog world of Junta Generals spanning almost 5 decades('62-'09).

The proven instances of back-stabbings & betrayals could be presented in 2 parts, namely Gen Ne Win & Snr-Gen Than Shwe:

Part-1: Gen Ne Win era:
- Sacking of his own Deputy (Gen Tin Oo-Chief of Staff);now NLD under house arrest
- Sacking of his own Intelligence Chief (Gen Tin Oo)
- Sacking of his own puppet-govt chief (Gen Saw Maung)

Part-2; Snr Gen Than Shwe era:
- Putting his own boss (Gen Ne Win) under house arrest
- Leaving his own boss (Gen Ne Win) on his death-bed (house arrest) to his death & infamous funeral
- Sacking of his own Intelligence Chief (Gen Khin Nyunt)
- Sacking all Military Intelligence personnel of 20,000

These are real instances of Dog-Eat-Dog world of the military generals and it shows clearly that military personnel are not only in disarray but full of betrayals & back-stabbings.

So, see how Gen Than Shwe shall be eaten up by which Top-Dog.

Phyo Oo Wrote:
He got what he deserved. What goes around, comes around. The question is when, not if, is Than Shwe's turn?

George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
Finally a lackey of Than Shwe's has won his ultimate freedom from prison by way of death and on his way to hell no doubt for his crimes against humanity on the orders of Than Shwe.

That should serve as a wake up call for all his ilk still sharing the spoils and sins of the monk murderer today.

Win Aung was a good example of dog eat dog policy still in practice by the military rulers since day one.

He died a convicted man, a common criminal though a foreign minister one time in Than Shwe's pack.

His charge: misuse of authority is a laugh given Than Shwe down to a lowly private in today's Burma Army is riddled with it primarily.

Than Shwe and his thugs will certainly face severe penalties for violence - death and destruction - and human rights abuses on ethnic minorities and others, not to mention unlawful detention and attempted murder of Daw Suu and U Tin Oo, in addition to killing Buddhisit monks and unarmed people for showing their desire for freedom and democracy only.

plan B Wrote:
Ko Wai Moe:

SPDC must know that a certain similar future awaits them if this round of US-led engagement is not taken seriously.

May Win Aung's spirit haunt #1 until he does the right thing.

A "Stroke" as an exit clearly speaks against SPDC's proper care for the prisoners.

kolorama Wrote:
It's nothing new -- he wasn't the first and won't be the last in The Permanent Purge (a term coined by Zbiniew Brezinski.)

As Aung Saw Oo said recently, "There are no 1.5s or number 2s in Burma."

The list since 1962 is:

Brigadier Aung Gyi, Brigadier Tin Pe, MI Tin Oo, Dr. Nyi Nyi (because Time magazine profiled him as a future leader) MI Khin Nyunt,and now Mr. Nyan Win.

Aung Saw Oo is an historian.

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