Burma Govt Denies Report of Former Dictator’s Generous Pension

Myanmar, Burma, Than Shwe, Thein Sein, Maung Aye, Shwe Mann, general, junta, pension, money, salary,

Then head of Burma’s military regime, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, right, is seen arriving on an official visit to Indonesia in 2005, where he was accompanied by now-President Thein Sein. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — A Burmese government spokesperson has denied a report claiming that the former head of the country’s military regime is enjoying a monthly pension of 10 million kyat, or more than US$10,000.

Snr-Gen Than Shwe was the highest-ranking member of the junta until it handed power to a quasi-civilian government in 2011.

Last week, local Burmese weekly the Myanmar Herald reported what it says are details of the “pensions and benefits” received by Burma’s former military leaders, including Than Shwe and his 2nd in command, Deputy Snr-Gen Maung Aye.

“Since March 31, 2011, the Pension Department [in the Finance Ministry] allowed Snr-Gen Than Shwe 10 million kyat per month and Deputy Snr-Gen Maung Aye was allowed 8 million kyat,” the Burmese-language weekly said, without giving a specific source for the information. It also said Than Shwe was paid a one-off gratuity of 230 million kyat, about $230,000.

Ye Htut, the deputy information minister and spokesman for President Thein Sein, denied that the former ruler’s pension was as generous as reported. “It’s not true,” he told The Irrawaddy by email. “Senior General Than Shwe only enjoys his pension and gratuity—based on his years in service—like any other military service personnel, since he retired.”

But Ye Htut declined to say how much the retired dictator was drawing as a pension. “The amount you said is not true. I can’t disclose the exact amount as it’s a personal matter,” he said.

Than Shwe joined the Burmese military in 1953, serving for 58 years before he passed the reigns to Thein Sein, himself a former general reportedly hand-picked by his predecessor. Since retirement, Than Shwe has kept a low profile, but is widely suspected to remain influential over Burma’s government.

The Irrawaddy understands that before his retirement, Than Shwe’s salary was 1.4 million kyat per month. Based on his years of service, the former supremo would have been entitled to a gratuity of more than 81 million kyat.

A retired Lieutenant- Colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his pension was worth just 150,000 kyat (about $150) per month, with a gratuity of 7 million kyat. The former soldier said Than Shwe’s gratuity would likely be in the tens of millions of kyat, based on his senior rank and years of service.

The Myanmar Herald also reported that parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann, who was a deputy senior general and ranked third in the military regime up to 2011, enjoys a pension of 5 million kyat.

According to the Burmese Constitution, Thein Sein is entitled to a monthly salary of 5 million kyat.

Pe Than, a parliamentarian from Arakan State, said it was unlikely that the government would have approved such a large pension and gratuity for Than Shwe, and that no such payments had been approved by Parliament.

“If they allowed it without mentioning it in the budget, it’s an act of dishonesty—something they shouldn’t do,” he said.

9 Responses to Burma Govt Denies Report of Former Dictator’s Generous Pension

  1. Again Dr. No. He will never say yes. His duty is to deny.

  2. “But Ye Htut declined to say how much the retired dictator was drawing as a pension. “The amount you said is not true. I can’t disclose the exact amount as it’s a personal matter,” he said.”

    Pension earning is NOT ေ personal issue BUT it is the public issue. Come on Ye Htut speak it out..

  3. Burma Govt Denies Report of Former Dictator’s Generous Pension: Snr-Gen Than Shwe is a rare specimen and is now located at the soon to be opened Naypyidaw Zoo; this buffoon is quite a character and would put Idi Amin to shame.

  4. Than Shwe is supreme leader of Myanmar anyway. Thein Sein is just a puppet president. Myanmar is owned by Than Shwe, and others are his employees.

  5. Gorbatschof of old Soviet Union got officially 80 $ US as monthly
    retired money,– Myanmar Leaders living standards might be different from Russian

  6. When “killing” is a casual matter, “stealing” is not an issue at all; so (see more) below:

    “LOOK -’MA’ — NO HANDS!”
    “The day you take off your uniform, you are as good as dead ; just like your boss Gen Ne Win” – Daw Kyaing Kyaing (Gen Than Shwe’s wife)
    Boy! You don’t have to worry; there are many ways to hold onto power without wearing a uniform (sic. status of Army Chief of Staff)
    ‘How to rule a nation state upon nominal retirement – a despot’s way’
    It is quite easy, Boy !
    A shady deal is fixed to run a nominally civilian-run Cabinet by Burma’s former despot Sr Gen Than Shwe !
    How is the deal fixed ?
    Well, it is easy ! Just form a NDSC (National Defense & Security Council) sitting on top of the Cabinet (obscure & not known to the general public); no doubt Sr Gen Than Shwe is the Chairman!
    Then again, who is behind all this ‘969’ stuff and and all this communal strife all across the state – which sets you thinking as:
    – The whole issue is planned with calculated moves for political gains
    – Religion is pushed up front to exploit majority Buddhist sentiments
    – The movement seems to have strong financial support
    – Killings, arson are ignored by the authorities
    – Old monsters stirring up trouble (ref: June 2, 2013: Sunday Times, Singapore)
    So, all these indicators point to: –
    “LOOK -’MA’ — NO HANDS!”
    No doubt about it !
    [Ref: “You guys (MI personnel sic Gen Kyaw Win), don’t you argue with me again– On who did it ! I did it ! So, what?” – Gen Than Shwe(on De-Pe-Yinn massacre) ]

  7. There are some things that money just cannot buy, like manners, morals and intelligence.

  8. $10,000 a month, $8,000 a month may be OK so long as there is no additional benefit. Hopefully not the Myitsone dam, Shwe Gas and many many others.
    We all are wasting time. Freedom is expensive. You have to face it.

  9. Doesn’ he look pretty with the pink bows holding the welcome garland of orchids presented by his hosts in Indonesia?

    But it is the brown tie, he chose himself, that shows his heart.

    Do you know, who was famed for the brown uniform of the national youth organisation?

    However this Asian dictator (retired, but still feared by many) is safe as long as he lives.

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