Minister’s Wife Shares Fake Facebook Photo of Suu Kyi in Islamic Headscarf

Suu Kyi Facebook

A screenshot of Ye Htut’s Facebook page, which includes a photo of a banner from the anti-hate speech campaign Panzagar. It reads: ‘Let’s restrain our speech to avoid spreading hate among people.’

RANGOON — Ye Htut, Burma’s deputy minister for information and the presidential spokesman, has posted an apology note on Facebook after a storm of criticism followed his wife’s posting of a Photoshopped image of Aung San Suu Kyi in Islamic garb this week.

The post, of Suu Kyi wearing a hijab and being crowned with a tiara as “Woman of the Week,” criticized the opposition leader for her push to amend Burma’s Constitution and was shared widely on Facebook, with the minister’s wife, Khin Sandar Tun, among those who shared the picture.

Another post, urging people to speak out against a rumored plan to teach all of the world’s major religions in school, was also shared by his wife.

The altered image is particularly sensitive in Burma, where rising anti-Islamic sentiment has accompanied political reforms over the last few years that have included greater freedom of speech. That has coincided with rising use of social media sites like Facebook, which has been blamed for at times fanning the flames of interreligious tension by spreading false rumors and hate speech.

After screenshots of her post were spread by other Facebook users, Khin Sandar Tun deleted her Facebook account, as online criticism mounted that the behavior of the deputy minister’s wife was unbecoming and threatened to stir up greater religious conflict.

One Facebook user named Demo Fatty wrote: “They simply have shown that they have a discriminating mind on different religions and races. By sharing that post, it shows the discrimination and taunting of the Muslim women. People with this kind of shallow point of view will also do the same thing to Christians or whoever, for they always think those who are different from themselves are lower than them.”

Another comment, posted by Win Min Than, said: “There are many like the minister’s wife, who are acting the same on Facebook. Thanks to Facebook, we now know their minds and their quality.”

After a few hours of back and forth among the Burmese Facebook community, Ye Htut—who has earned the nickname “Facebook minister” for his frequent use of the social media site—posted an apology on his Facebook account, saying it was his responsibility to control his wife’s behavior when it came to sharing such posts.

The minister opens the apology saying: “There are ethics to using Facebook. We have to take care with the posts that we ‘like’ and share, for there may be hateful posts and defamation. The posts we write on our own should not be those that spread hate speech or personal attacks.

“As a responsible person of the government and as the head of the house, I have the responsibility to teach my family members to behave accordingly, to the standard that the majority of the people are upholding,” he continued.

“Apologies to those who respect and support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and to those who visit my Facebook for my failure.”

The minister also included in his apology note that he had urged his wife to delete the posts as they were a breach of democratic standards and social media ethics.

The comment wars on Facebook have continued, with some accepting the apology as sincere, while others have accused the minister of masking his true sentiment with talk of democratic ideals.

“[I] respect the action of the minister for daring to take responsibility and apologizing, but she should think before making a mistake. Being the wife of a minister for information but having a low level of knowledge is a shame,” wrote one user, Ney Lin.

Another, who goes by the Facebook name Khet Oo, wrote: “Just think. Who is the most scornful? The wife of U Ye Htut, who acted out of ignorance, or U Ye Htut himself, who pretends to be a democrat and full of ethics by using fake words.”

16 Responses to Minister’s Wife Shares Fake Facebook Photo of Suu Kyi in Islamic Headscarf

  1. It goes both ways. It seems that the Burmese people are practicing in Myanmar a “self destruct mode” of behavior. . On Face Book, I have seen people who consider that all persons that joined the Myanmar Defense Forces are evil and never has be motivated to serve the people of Myanmar. That I do not prescribe. The military in Burma I accept has sucessfully excluded others especially the civilian sector and non-defense personels from participation as equals in serving the Nation since 1959-62.

  2. Irrawaddy should post the photo of Ogle Khin Sandar Tun in the magazine to let the world know how Ogle than shwe and thien sien government is very very low standard.

  3. That is the example of degenerated people holding publice office.Not only themself but also their family are doing to defame the other by lowlife,uneducated way.Ye Htut and his wife are not different.If you say freedom of speak, ok ,let me express my opinion on them, They are military dogs.

  4. Is there any one single person from the regime whom we can put our trust on? The gang members from usdp including their wives and their children are crooked and wicked. That’s why we the people of our country have disliked this party and its members. Myanmar cannot afford having this crooks even one more day in power.

  5. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U.1976

    International , Public figure & A member of Burma’s Parliament DASSK ,posting of her Photoshopped Image in Islamic by Minister Ye Htut’s Wife Khin Sandar Tun.
    Ye Htut taken Responsibilty for his wife, and given An Apology. An Apology is Not enough. This is One of the Serious Crime ( Dafamation to NLD Chairwoman, Member of the Parliament )also was committed by Late Ne Win & Saw Maung in Early 1990s when they were very powerful and Nobody cannot take action to these Bullies.
    If not taken Action to this kind of Serious Matter,Khin Sandar Tun like low level, Brainless Persons would take Advantages again to Our Trusted Leaders.
    Therefore , Nobody Above the Law. Ye Htut, Than Shwe, Thein Sein ,Whoever. No Exception.

  6. They can hide for awhile but they cannot run away with their true colors. If people do not rebuke this regime, who the hell in the world will do to them? We all need to cast our votes to bring in the real democratic government. At the same time, voting against this regime will send these evil people home for good. Bloodstained people will have to go and lovers of democracy must step up to the throne.

  7. There is nothing to loose for Info Man Ye Htut after so many stunts and commends he made in the past weeks and than reality was totally different. In Myanmar is since long a saying “…if you need something from a Minister than do not go to him — go to his wife and tell her she will do the rest …. “….. Ye Htut s wife might have done it here once and might do it again….. More important is that there are not some Generals which stick to power — there is a similar situation as in Bangkok with Royalists against farmers and workers. No saying which way would be the best — but through Ye Htuts wife clear to see how and where President Thein Sein s transition struggles… to become a real one …..

  8. Apologies well accepted. No need to get four wives. We also understand, one has to demonstrate one’s usefulness when one hold a certain position.
    No damage done. God bless to all. Metta to all.

  9. Khin Sandar Tun ,
    Politics and house chores don’t mix.

  10. This runs in Myanmar under act 500 and gets at least 2 years in prison and or 400.000 $ US fine Serious Matter,Khin Sandar Tun ,– if the law is passed on the guilty , there is nothing to apologies by her husband he had done nothing wrong — so she very much had and Myanmar has the law in place to deal with this

  11. If there were no flood of criticisms, Ye Htut would not come out for apology. I am damm sure, his wife would not take this kind of step without his consent. This is just testing people mindset , how much people support DASSK.

  12. Jews wear Scarf too!

  13. The story gives me impressions that:

    • Among the junta wives, anti-DASSK perception may be very much widespread.
    • Army men see themselves as power to solve the problems by their own way without letting others take own responsibilities.
    • U Ye Htut family is a military style household.
    • His wife has no freedom of thinking as well as no freedom to make her own decision.

    There is something totally wrong in my view to observe the actions done by U Ye Htut.

    Although he is head of the household, U Ye Htut should show more matured example to the public to let his wife resolve the problem on her own way.
    Daw Khin Sandar Tun may be an educated and responsible person. She should come out herself and if deems necessary apologize the public for the wrong doing.

    If the offender was a normal civilian, what would be U Ye Htut’s solution for him or her? Just to put him or her in jail or let him or her apologize or solve the problem with his or her own respect?

  14. The present government’s stooges sow religious discord among citizens so that the country will be in turmoil. Then on that pretext the army will again take over the country. The present government is actually the same wine, just in a different bottle.

  15. Myanmar’s Ali Baba regime is thief, robber, cheater and liar. When I see the face of each person, regime has Ali Baba’s exact look.

  16. Try to show the world how passionate we all (Burmese) are.
    Instead of trashing and hating to the left and right among our fellow citizens, do and say the right thing with righteousness.
    In modern society, no one will accept any religion extremist in any fit or form around of the world.

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