Former Dictator is in Good Health, Says Daughter

Former Snr-Gen Than Shwe before he resigned as head of Burma's military junta (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Former Snr-Gen Than Shwe before he resigned as head of Burma’s military junta (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Burma’s former military strongman, retired Snr-Gen Than Shwe, is in good health despite rumors to the contrary, according to his daughter.

Speaking to the Rangoon-based journal Myanmar Newsweek last week, Khin Pyone Shwe denied that her father had recently been treated for a serious illness.

She made the remarks while attending a ceremony to mark the opening of a new temple in Rangoon’s Kyauktadan Township on Sept. 30. Other members of Than Shwe’s immediate family were also present at the merit-making ceremony.

Than Shwe, who is around 80 years old, retired as Burma’s head of state in 2011 after handing over power to a new quasi-civilian government led by President Thein Sein, another ex-general who served under Than Shwe as part of the former military junta.

Although Than Shwe has kept a low profile since stepping down, he is widely seen as the mastermind behind the political transition that has earned Burma’s new government praise for reforms, while locking in political and economic privileges for senior military leaders and their cronies.

Before elections were held in late 2010, many observers predicted that Than Shwe would assume a leading role in the new government to protect himself and his family. However, a senior army officer close to the former dictator recently told The Irrawaddy that that was never the plan.

“He knew it was time to stop, so he stopped,” the officer said.

Government sources say that Than Shwe spends most of his time these days reading in his home in Naypyidaw. He and his family live in a huge, lavish compound in the Burmese capital, under constant guard by army officers and soldiers.

Despite his retirement, Than Shwe has a dozen aides, including a chief of staff and an officer who acts as his liaison with the current government, some of whose leaders occasionally visit him to “pay their respects.”

In the past, it was reported that Than Shwe was suffering from intestinal cancer and went to Singapore for medical treatment in January 2007.

He reportedly rejected advice to undergo surgery for a life-threatening condition at that time, saying that he wanted to discuss his health with his chief astrologer first.


8 Responses to Former Dictator is in Good Health, Says Daughter

  1. Than Shwe’s wave of evil still washes over all Burmese institutions.

  2. George Than Setkyar Heine

     “Despite his retirement, Than Shwe has a dozen aides, including a chief
    of staff and an officer who acts as his liaison with the current
    government, some of whose leaders occasionally visit him to “pay their
    respects.”
    That LETS THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG no less man!
    Though he is OUT OF THE PICTURE he is VERY MUCH ALIVE as his daughter says and KICKING ASS as well until today I say!
    Min Aung Hlaing is HIS GHOST lest you guys forget as well.
    China picked C-in-C Burma Army is still HOUNDING the KIA and the Kachins  are made  homeless and on the run until today because Than Shwe SAYS SO, idiots!
    Than Shwe is UNDER OBLIGATION/ORDERS of the Chinese of course, to CLEAR the KIA at any cost and under guise as well in order that MYITSONE DAM PROJECT and other CHINESE INTERESTS in Kachin State are WELL SECURED under the Chinese paid Burma Army under the command of Min Aung Hlaing rather than Gunn Maw run KIA.
    Kachin State in the hands of Min Aung Hlaing is the ONLY PIECE in the PUZZLE REMAINING for the communists next door to COMPLETE the PICTURE – HEAD of BURMA (geographically) under the helm of the communists in Beijing for that matter and for future URGENCY, claim as an enclave of the Chinese in later days.
    Note: South Ossetia in Georgia today claimed by Russia as it is flooded with ethnic Russians today.
    The Wa State of Burma is already SECURED under BAO YOUXIANG led UWSA (the biggest drug running outfit in the world today) and the Shan State is a proxy of the Chinese as well ALLIED with the drug traffickers no less. 
    Than Shwe has SOLD his SOUL and BURMA to the communists in Beijing for 30 Billion Yuan since 2009 giving the GREEN LIGHT for Myitsone Dam Project and other Chinese interests in Burma.
    And Thein Sein his CLERK is doing his BEST to LIFT the SANCTIONS – in fact he has succeeded as well for that matter – for his BOSS and the CRONIES to LAUNDER their BLACK MONEY and ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH and of course FATTEN their WALLETS while COVERING the DICTATOR’S ASS in the UN/UNSC and ICC at The Hague in turn for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY/WAR CRIMES.
    Hence, Thein Sein’s a DUD president of Naypyidaw only.
    Of course Daw Suu’s RULE of LAW could/would NOT COVER Than Shwe, his family, CRONIES and Min Aung Hlaing’s Chinese MERCENARY OUTFIT – Burma Army – as well believe/trust me.
    And Burma’s DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM and HUMAN RIGHTS as well are OUT OF THE QUESTION as long as Thein Sein runs the outfit -PARLIAMENT – and Than Shwe has HIS LIAISON OFFICE at Naypyidaw, ANY BETS?

    • He never retired. He makes himself king, and he appointed Thein Sein as his servant president. Than Shwe still pulls the string from his palace. He is our majesty now. 

    • People are so, so pathetic in their feeble mind that even though ALL you have written above is 100% correct and they have to believe the opposite just to stay sane!

      Oh, Burma, and the Burmese! Lying to themselves. Patheticity at its best. Pampering their own torturers and deliverers of worse things to come.

      Thank you Amay Suu for leading the Thein Sein Suck Up Group. And 88’s.

  3. This guy is culpable. He was a complete disaster for Burma. He should be put on trial for the way he slaughtered his own people!

  4. Former Dictator is in Good Health, Says Daughter I’m sorry to hear that.

  5. I am encouraged with current reforms , i don’t know whether Sr. Gen is controlling the changes and advising the Cabinets. Whatsoever, our country system is changing smoothly, so we all must cooperate and maintain the momentum.
    Regarding the internal protection and safe guarding of Chinese interests, our new Govt. must take this into account and solve it quickly for our people’s benefit instead of crony selfish Chinese interest.

  6. Just look at some previous kings of Burma.
    Not all of them were heroes, several of them ruined the country.
    (like Sao Han Bwa, the great warrior, who killed monks and looted pagodas for their treasure.).

    Yet the country and the people survived in the long run.

    The final estimate of Sen. Gen. Than Shwe’s rule may grace (?) his 100th birthday (in another 20 years time).

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