Suu Kyi, Than Shwe Meeting Rumors Increase
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Suu Kyi, Than Shwe Meeting Rumors Increase

By THE IRRAWADDY Thursday, October 8, 2009


Rumors are swirling in Rangoon about a possible meeting between Aung San Suu Kyi and Snr-Gen Than Shwe, one day after the junta’s liaison officer met with the pro-democracy leader for the second time within a week.

Suu Kyi met twice this week with Aung Kyi, a retired major general who is the regime’s labor minister.

In this undated photo, Aung San Suu Kyi meets Than Shwe at the army guest house in Rangoon.

The meetings followed a letter Suu Kyi sent late last month to Snr-Gen Than Shwe, offering to cooperate with the Burmese regime in an effort to lift US sanctions and requesting to meet with Western diplomats to discuss the sanctions.

Burma's official media confirmed that the two meetings were arranged because of Suu Kyi’s letter to Than Shwe. The letter appeared to be a confidence-building gesture to the junta, observers suggested.

Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, has welcomed the meetings as "constructive" and suggested they might lead to higher level talks.

"We strongly believe that the only way to solve the political and economic crisis in Burma is to start the dialogue between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Snr-Gen Than Shwe," Khin Maung Swe, an NLD spokesperson, told The Irrawaddy.

According to sources in Rangoon, many people, including government officials, civil servants and businessmen, are interested in the current political developments.

Some analysts maintain, however, that the likelihood of a top level meeting is "nil."

A prominent politician in Rangoon, Aye Thar Aung, who is secretary of both the Arakan League for Democracy and the Committee Representing People’s Parliament, said that the recent meetings were a positive sign that regime is willing to talk, but the nature of the discussions are unknown.

"The meetings could just be a follow-up to her letter," he said.  

Suu Kyi's meeting with Aung Kyi on Wednesday was their seventh since he was appointed "Relations Minister" in October 2007, after the junta came under intense international condemnation for its brutal crackdown on mass demonstrations.

Suu Kyi met Than Shwe, accompanied by former spy chief Gen Khin Nyunt, in 1994 and 2002, while she was under house arrest.

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Yangontha Wrote:
The new political game of Than Shwe vs ASSK has started for a world to watch. It may be better or worse than before, for it depends on the audience (China vs USA).

We hope the game will not be too long (talking and actions) for they should notice that there are so many poor people who have not enough food to eat and no clean water to drink for they have been living in the dark for so long in Burma.

Therefore, hope for the best in 2009!

Yebaw Wrote:
Most doubt the sincerity of the generals. As I have said before, the junta keeps Daw Suu as a wining card (joker)in their hands.

Than Shwe will say that the meeting with Daw Suu is very cordial and the relationship between them is like tht of brother and sister. After that, he will forget Daw Suu for many years and will ask his assistants to put Daw Suu in jail or under house arrest again.

Whoever believes in this crocked general is a fool. Of course, he has fooled us for many years in may ways.

Kyansittha Wrote:
"We strongly believe that the only way to solve the political and economic crisis in Burma is to start the dialogue between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Snr-Gen Than Shwe," Khin Maung Swe, an NLD spokesperson, told The Irrawaddy.

This will never happen I say.
Than Shwe is talking with the US only to get the sanctions lifted, trust me.

Maung Bamar Wrote:
HOW VERY SAD to see Daw Suu shaking hands with U ThanShwe. Shaking hand is not our custom. We buddhists put the palms together in front of the chest and bow humbly to each other. I fear all our Burmese people will lose our national cultural and spiritual identity as a result of the political players' disrespect for our history and heritage.

I don't trust either of them. Daw Suu invited sanctions. Now she wants them lifted. What does that mean? If she had power to impose sanctions in the first place, surely she can remove them. Not so, she must plead with the US and EU. So who calls the shots? The answer is obvious. What does it mean?

Burma is now subserviant to the West, with ostensible sovereignty. Why did SuuKyi call the Burmese army facist in the first place and quarrel with the junta. Why did she let the people suffer? How can she be considered to be the Nelson Mandela of Burma after proving sher had no principle. It is called political expediency?

What statecraft has she learnt in her life? None

George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
Seeing is believing boys.
Don't jump the gun also.
Of course Daw Suu's letter broke the ice.
Webb's visit stirred the honest nest.
And balls started rolling like today.

It could be a false alarm also.
Daw Suu will not accept Than Shwe's constitution, any bets?
Nor will the NLD waste breath and space to honor Than Shwe's role in the future politics of Burma.

Definitely, Than Shwe will not subject his military constitution to scrutiny much less review under any circumstance, I wager
The buck stops right here!

Ever heard of a Saint and Satan holding a dialogue face to face to work out the world's woes?

Who will blink?

Of course Daw Suu wouldn't.
She would rather bite Than Shwe's bullet and hit the dust than let her people live as slaves under a monk killers' boots.

The DAMSEL is in distress while the DEVIL runs amok in Burma..

K Wrote:
It's long overdue. Shame it didn't happen a lot sooner instead of all sides choosing a path of confrontation.

timothy Wrote:
I sincerely hope that Gen Than Shwe comes to realize that Daw Su is his only honest and reliable working partner to bring Burma out of the Chinese slavery. Gen Than Shwe will become one of the greatest sons of Burma if he co-operates with Daw Su`s democracy plans. History has shown that Gen Than Shwe is a cunning tactical/ psychological warfare master, so I can not put my faith completely in this news. Gen Than Shwe may know that it is the only way he can get out of his troubles. Ne Win died as a pauper.

What does Than Shwe want?

San Aye- Ahtwin Ti Wrote:
Suu Kyi must be very careful meeting the sly fox Than Shwe, who will utilize her for his own benefits. Than Shwe will act innocent to the UNSC and hide his brutal image and the unknown tricks he has up his sleave. Every move should be taken in caution. He is out to trap Suu Kyi.

Well, Suu Kyi should talk about the sanctions and also the reconciliation of all ethnic groups and the release of all political figures. She must not let any outside politcians that are waiting for prey to jump on the situation. This includes some military retired officials as well as those from the Communist party that have connections with Than Shwe on the quiet. This includes people like Aung Gyi, Tha Khin Tin Mya, female daughters of politicians that did not even budge or make a move to support what Daw Suu has been doing. Daw Suu has the backing of the people and the entire sangha.

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