The Irrawaddy News Magazine [Covering Burma and Southeast Asia]

Detained Former PM Khin Nyunt Allowed Visitors
Monday, August 6, 2007

Relatives and close friends of Burma’s former Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt, kept under house arrest since his ouster in 2004, were recently allowed to visit him at his home in the former capital, according to Rangoon-based diplomats and former intelligence officers. 

Former premier and military intelligence boss Gen Khin Nyunt (Photo: AFP)
The disgraced spy master is said to have been well and to have told his guests that he has been meditating. He greeted his visitors with a polite gesture and wished them well.

Khin Nyunt’s health in the last few years had been a matter of considerable speculation, fueled in part by the junta’s refusal to allow him any visitors. 
Rangoon sources said the decision to allow Khin Nyunt to have visitors was based o­n humanitarian reasons.

In October 2004, Khin Nyunt was ousted from power and placed under house arrest o­n charges of insubordination and corruption. He was convicted o­n all charges and given a 44-year suspended sentence in 2005.

The former premier, now 68, his wife Dr Khin Win Shwe and other family members remain under house arrest, where they endure heavy surveillance and security around their home in an elite housing compound in Rangoon.

The Office of the Chief of Military Intelligence, over which Khin Nyunt presided, was subsequently dismantled and several of its mid- and high-ranking officials were arrested and given long prison terms.

In September 2006, Khin Nyunt was permitted a short reprieve to attend the funeral of a famous abbot, Sumangala Lankara, who was imprisoned by the junta in 1990 after he and several other abbots and monks in Mandalay decided to boycott the regime by not receiving alms, Washington-based Radio Free Asia reported. The venerated Sumangala Lankara died in Bangkok last year, and his funeral was held in Rangoon.
Sources in the former capital said that o­nly two former top-ranking OCMI officials—Maj-Gen Kyaw Win and Brig-Gen Kyaw Thein—escaped the purge in 2004 and continue to live in Rangoon.

Kyaw Thein, the former head of the Ethnic Nationalities and Ceasefire Groups, Drugs Suppression and Naval and Air Intelligence, is known to have been a devout Buddhist and has begun practicing meditation.

Kyaw Win, the former second-in-command at the OCMI and now in his early 60s, spends most of his time pursuing a hobby in photography.

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