Jealousies Divide 'United' Junta
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Burma

Jealousies Divide 'United' Junta


By WAI MOE Monday, March 14, 2011


Burmese singers, R Zarny (right) and Sai Sai Kham Hlaing (left), pose with Nay Shwe Thway Aung to deliver a message on Facebook on Sunday.
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One of the Burmese junta’s best known mottos is: “We will remain united whoever tries to break us up.” The military authorities ensure that plaques and signs are put up bearing this slogan in military schools, bases and public places across the country.

However, much as the slogan clearly prescribes an undivided approach to external threats, it does not appear to have generated the same team spirit when it comes to internal conflicts, in particular, splits and jealousies within the military hierarchy based on business interests.

Even some of Burma's top generals have fallen prey to the “dog eat dog” syndrome that plays out continually in Naypyidaw.

Most recently, over the weekend of March 5-6, several cabinet members and military cronies were left miffed when they were not included in a thinly veiled scheme by the Trade Policy Council to sell off cheaply into private hands a list of state-owned buildings and properties in Rangoon.

Many of the properties included colonial buildings that were former ministries, and other edifices located in the city's commercial hub. They were offered to many military officers and their friends and families, but certain potential investors missed out on the opportunity to take advantage on the discounted properties.

“The division in privileges has led to jealousies and rivalries between several military generals and cabinet ministers, as well as among the community of influential family members,” said a Rangoon businessman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Now, some of them don't talk to each other. They compete fiercely to win contracts on any state property that is put up for sale.”

As an example, he said that ex-Brig-Gen Thein Zaw, the minister of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, and Soe Tha, the minister of National Planning and Economic Development, are no longer on speaking terms following a dispute that arose when they both tried recently to buy out the same state firm in Rangoon.

Since the beginning of this year, the junta has announced the sell-off of five large state-owned corporations and buildings, including the former Offices of the Ministers, a British colonial edifice where Burma’s independence hero Aung San and eight of his colleagues were assassinated in 1947.
 
Observers have said that the property sellouts have no benefit to the people of Burma; instead, the public buildings—several of which feature unique Victorian architecture that is considered characteristic of Rangoon, and are popular with tourists—are being transferred into the hands of Burma's military and business elite.
 
Family members of many of the military's top generals, such as Snr-Gen Than Shwe, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, Gen “Thura” Shwe Mann, Secretary-1 ex-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo and ex-Lt-Gen Tin Aye, all own former state properties and/or have taken over formerly state-run business enterprises, such as hydropower and mining contracts.

Although junta chief Than Shwe’s favorite grandson Nay Shwe Thway Aung is only 21 years of age, his buying power in Rangoon is second to none. 

Sources have said that Nay Shwe Thway Aung has recently purchased huge estates on Rangoon’s Parami Road and Kabar Aye Pagoda Road where he intends to construct shopping complexes and business centers.

“These are large plots of land he [Than Shwe's grandson] bought,” said a government official in Rangoon who wished to remain anonymous. “No other businessman has dared to even dream about acquiring these properties.

“But this is Nay Shwe Thway Aung’s era. He can do anything he wants,” he said.

Reports from Naypyidaw suggest that several military officers dislike Nay Shwe Thway Aung because he has assumed a high rank within military circles despite the fact he has never served in the army, and is reputed to be pretentious. Displeasure was also expressed by the military elite that Than Shwe's grandson was permitted to sit in the front row beside his grandfather at official photo shoots. 

“Nay Shwe Thway Aung has been involved in several business disputes with the sons of other top generals, including Aung Thet Mann, Toe Naing Mann and Shwe Mann. But, in the end, they always have to concede to Nay Shwe Thway Aung,” he added.

The family of junta No.2 Maung Aye is thought to be the richest in the country. His daughter, Nandar Aye, and her husband, Pyi Aung, who is son of Industry-1 Minister Aung Thaung, own and run the largest multinational in Burma—the IGE Group. Their other partner is Nay Aung, the other son of Aung Thaung.

The company is involved in the oil and gas industries, the timber trade, mining, tourism, banking and construction, either directly or through its sister companies: UNOG Co. Ltd; the Amara Co. Ltd; MRT Co. Ltd; FCEC Co.



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COMMENTS (15)
 
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Denys Goldthorpe Wrote:
22/03/2011
I wonder what rumours Burmese singers, R Zarny, Sai Sai Kham and Thitsaphout Than Shwe’s grandson Thitsaphout Nay Shwe Thway Aung. want us not to believe. It can’t be the murders rapes and tortures and the acts of enforced slavery which occur in Burma on a daily basis, these are already proven to be fact. What’s also fact is the illegal acquisition of land, and the fact that people who survive this murderous regime must suffer in refugee camps for some years. And not counting the refugee camps in other counties what also a fact is that there are nine refugee camps in Thailand, Maybe Zarny Kham and Thaw Aung want us to believe that these camps are only rumours and they must be crazy if they think that the human rights abuses in Burma are only rumours.

Thidar Aye Wrote:
20/03/2011
Than Shwe families and his cohoot will suck all the Burmese people blood until they bleed out from their mouth. Wait and see what will happen to them. They don't learn the lesson from Ne Win's yet.

Moe Aung Wrote:
19/03/2011
Soe Thane:

"..does anyone really think that things will get better just because the current guys are replaced with other politicians?"

I'm bound to say it's a damn good start. Looking for some lime before any sign of the rabbit? The lady ST doth protest too much about the Lady. Yaaawn!

luusoelay Wrote:
18/03/2011
Conclusion:

IF you are back with REGIME then you will not like the opposite.

\\:^=)

Free Man Wrote:
17/03/2011
To Soe Thane:

"The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation’s development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear." Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

tocharian Wrote:
16/03/2011
These two entertainers are quite popular not just in Burma, but also amongst refugees, asylum-seekers and other dissidents living abroad. Just check YouTube and Facebook pages of Burmese people! This proves again my point of how totally hypocritical Burmese society has become.

I've always said that many of the "top entertainers" are junta junkies (sleeping with the enemy!). These two guys are definitely charlatans and "partying buddies" of Than Shwe's grandson. Disgusting!

Soe Thane Wrote:
16/03/2011
The NLD's main demand is for "dialogue". They used to hope for implementation of the 1990 elections. Then they wanted changes in the constitution, then a boycott of the election. It's not clear to me even if the top guys in the regime disappeared tomorrow (and they will disappear one day), how any of the deep cultural problems in Burma will change. All Burmese know that there are deep cultural problems in Burma - you can say it's the result of Ne Win's policies or you can say they go back to before that - that leads to these kinds of things (corruption etc). There are many good people in Burma too, but does anyone really think that things will get better just because the current guys are replaced with other politicians? My point is this - hatred of the regime and focusing on overthrowing the regime are preventing Burmese for thinking and talking more about how Burmese society (maybe even Burmese Buddhism) needs to change. I think ASSK has a sense of this, though I'm not sure.

zawmaung Wrote:
16/03/2011
"Thanks for well-done investigative report. I appreciate the quality of the reportage. Those who complain sanction for poverty of the Burmese, including those election wining parties calling EU to lift sanction, should not fail to observe this kind of economic crimes by the regime and elites. Why they are quiet? Do they not know about this?"

In the world , every where , all closed to government take advantage of doing business but I did not means this is right. However , Can they do it alone ? For those who stay in oversea , can say that "Sanctions are needed" because they have no need to worry to feed their mouth. For those who stay in country , without sanctions , will make more variety palace to choose for their living. Now , like it or not , we have to work for those Junta's associate business because we need to feed our mouth.

Kyor Wrote:
15/03/2011
The young man must have been really busy making money. Guess he never went to school.

Mualcin Wrote:
15/03/2011
If Nay Shwe Thway Aung cannot prove that he had earned the money legally and filed income tax, he must not be allowed to buy these kinds of state-properties. One day, we will take it back from him anyway. As long as the legislative branch does not make the law, Than Shwe's way of doing business is unlawful or illegal.

zaw Wrote:
15/03/2011
let grandson do business. we would like to see how long his era going to last.

Thidar Aye Wrote:
15/03/2011
Why these singers doesn't feel ashame of themselves to make an advertising like this?
Who have fed your rice bowl? Think of it.
Boycott their stage show, coming to US in future.

George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
15/03/2011
Than Shwe and his cohorts are no better than VULTURES preying on dead carcasses and rotting remains only as they are incapable of hunting for fresh meat or green pastures like the lions, leopards and other animals for that matter.

Of course, this brat grandson of Than Shwe's would be the harbinger of doom and death for his old idiot grandpa sooner rather than later if ill fate itself failed to intervene in this matter.

And I pity those two sissies posing with Satan's child as their futures and histories as well would not fare better than that devil's bastard son on both the short and long runs as well.

Fighting over ownership of the people's properties and dividing the loot would serve none for the better for these ZOMBIES because they are living on BORROWED TIME only as they are already DEAD and decaying in body, character and mind as evidenced today.

Their NETHER WORLD would come to end and they would DISINTEGRATE like vampires at the break of DAWN and DAY lest they forget I say.

Moe Aung Wrote:
15/03/2011
Snouts in the trough and big insatiable ones too, including their offspring and in-laws. Greed is the most potent cause for cracks within their ranks. Watch this space.

Who are in charge of artillery, tanks and planes? Watch Libya. We must not forget the very important need to woo the rank and file in these outfits.

Turn their firepower against them. The turning point is just around the corner.

bomoteseik Wrote:
15/03/2011
Thanks for well-done investigative report. I appreciate the quality of the reportage. Those who complain sanction for poverty of the Burmese, including those election wining parties calling EU to lift sanction, should not fail to observe this kind of economic crimes by the regime and elites. Why they are quiet? Do they not know about this?

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