Retired Spy Master Makes TV Appearance with Shwe Mann

Former intelligence chief Khin Nyunt meets colleagues at a friend’s house in Rangoon. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON—Burma’s former spy chief and retired general Khin Nyunt, who was once nicknamed “TV actor” by the Burmese public for his almost daily appearances on state television, recently made a return to the small screen, appearing alongside Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann.

On Monday, Burma’s state-run 24-hour channel MRTV 4 broadcast footage of Khin Nyunt visiting Kyaik Danote Pagoda in Rangoon’s Dala Township. He was shown making a devotional offering of a gold-coated hti, or sacred parasol, while in the company of Shwe Mann, Rangoon Division Chief Minister Myint Swe and business tycoon Khin Shwe.

The video footage showed Khin Nyunt carrying the hti before it was installed on top of the pagoda by monks. Shwe Mann, of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, was seen treating the retired general with respect.

Photos of the ceremony quickly spread on Facebook and other social media, and attracted various comments, with some dubbing the event Khin Nyunt’s “reintegration” with Burma’s current political leadership.

It remains unclear why Khin Nyunt appeared at the Kyaik Danote Pagoda.
The ancient, 107-ft structure was restored with support of then junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe after it partially collapsed in 2006. It fell down again in 2009 and debris reportedly killed and injured dozens of soldiers and civilians, but state media never published news of the incident.

Monday’s broadcast was the first time in a decade that the retired general was shown on TV, after he was ousted by Snr-Gen Than Shwe in 2004 and sentenced to 44 years in prison for corruption and other charges.

Between 1998 and 2004, Khin Nyunt spent years in the limelight when he held different top positions in the then ruling military regime, such as secretary 1 of the State Peace and Development Council, prime minister and chief of Military Intelligence.

He was given amnesty by President Thein Sein in January 2012. Three months later, The Bangkok Post newspaper published a recording of a conversation with the former spy master.

In it he claims to have personally intervened to save the life of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi when a pro-junta mob attacked her motorcade in Sagaing Division in 2003, killing at least 70 of her supporters. “I sent my men to snatch her from the mob that night and they brought her to safety to a nearby army cantonment,” he was quoted as saying.

However, Khin Nyunt denied last year that he had made the claims. On Wednesday, two days after the retired general’s TV appearance, the Special Branch, a Burmese security unit, put out a statement that again rejected The Bangkok Post article.

There have been rumors that the former spy master has ambitions to re-enter Burma’s political arena, but during a brief encounter with The Irrawaddy’s publisher Aung Zaw in November he denied these claims.

19 Responses to Retired Spy Master Makes TV Appearance with Shwe Mann

  1. It is not strange for all of us ( Burmese) that bama military thugs is trying to unit how to make trick and traps on both ethnics and DASSK.

  2. He’s completely emotionally detached. He has no empathy. You find that in psychopaths.

  3. They’re back! Than Shwe’s exit strategy is more like a non-exit!
    Su Kyi is now more or less in the same boat ss Khin Nyunt the half-Chinese-drug-dealer-friend from the hated MIS and Shwe Mann, the North Korean point-man in Burma.
    Naw Kham is dead. Long Live Khin Nyunt!

  4. Yes its Hell Hound at large. Lets pray for the safety of innocent citizens

  5. Welcome on board. It’s time for you to shine.

  6. Hi readers,
    I want to warn you that Spy master Khin Nyunt needed to know about murder members in San Gyaung Township. There were a murder group in San Gyaung Township, Ma U Pin Street, Yangon.
    (I needed to know exact house address number, but now, I can only say that murder leader’s house was Daw Mya Mya’s house in Ma U Pin Street)
    Those group members knew well about Khin Nyunt. Khin Nyunt might have seen them face to face but murder members could hid their names. I know only their nick names, eldest one is Mr. Bad (Poat Gyi in Burmese language), another one is Pu Gyi (Mr. Short, he was short) – Pu Gyi is younger brother. There were other brothers and cousins, and friends.
    They knew Khin Nyunt. Murder members shot and killed college student Phone Maw in 1988. Murder members used to say that they killed Phone Maw and they made student 1988 uprising, and they took down former president U Ne Win and family, and finally, they used to say that Khin Nyunt got power.
    I hoped that general Khin Nyunt found out the killers of Phone Maw in 2004 but murder group found his mistakes first, and murder group did strike first. That is possible.
    I will write more later in some other articles.

    • What are you talking about? We don’t like these dictators but your claim seems unfounded. Phone Maw was shot by Lone Htein. Most of Lone Htein soldiers came from military background. I believe you mix the story with your nightmare.

      • Dear Sakura,
        You did not understand about Phone Maw’s death. Phone Maw did not died by Lone Htein. Because my grandfather was eye-witness and there were other a few eye-witnesses at the shooting time, my grandfather told me what he and others saw. And grandfather knew the shooter, shooter had being gone in and out General Ne Win’s house for a few year. So I am sure that Phone Maw’s story in is half-right and half-wrong.

  7. It is good possible that Khin Nyunt arranged to save ASSK in Sagain and that “…“I sent my men to snatch her from the mob that night and they brought her to safety to a nearby army cantonment,” is right as he himself attended a private Dinner in Yangon with Mr Riedmaten, a Swiss broker for ASSK s Freedom, when a phone call came which left Khin Nyunt white and pale shocked and dinner was over than.– the time when he was informed by this for him possible surprise news, arrangements by than gen Soe Win. USA – CIA, Mossad and German BND trained Myanmar MI s so what and that in the 60ties and when under NLD Tin Oo all Shan Prince dissaperd ??? Under NLD Tin Oo s watch … so what, Khin Nyjnt than far from popular and in any power….

    • Khin Nyunt was a Ruthless and corrupt man but still not a fool like “you know whos” who always resort to violence to conflicts and directly pillaged the state to enrich their pocket. Some projects initiated by him were quite successful. e.g. school sport fest, multimedia libraries, internet system, maritime university etc. He pocketed part of the budget and his family monopolize some projects. (corrupt without any doubt).

      • He said he saved Suu Kyi at Depeyin. Do you believe what he said? He later changed his claim. Do you know what to believe? He was a crook like Than Shwe. Dog eats dog. That’s all.

  8. Burma’s former spy chief and retired general Khin Nyunt, who is the one did country, Burmese people and Army to hurt and down. Anything he did Army got bad name, make people got fear, country not develop. In history, Army had done good job for country and a lot good men work for Army, He is the one made a lot of fear and bad imaged.
    “Between 1998 and 2004, Khin Nyunt spent years in the limelight when he held different top positions in the then ruling military regime, such as secretary 1 of the State Peace and Development Council, prime minister and chief of Military Intelligence.” See that positions he took, what he did for Burma was nothing and he still alive was so lucky. He must apologist to country, people and Army.

    • He was Academy Khin Nyunt. He was on Burmese TV everyday program. His followers did terrible and horrible things to the citizens of Burma misusing Khin Nyunt’s power. And they fell down to concrete floor and they all suffered. No mercy for these crooks. He is not different from Than Shwe. Both are crooks.

    • If KN “… did country…Army got bad name…people got fear, country not develop “, is that a chicken and egg argument? He’s definitely hatching something.

  9. Our wounds are not healed yet. They still need to stay away from the public.

  10. Khin Nyunt is a brown noser of Ne Win’s family. Sandar Win and Pyoo Ne Win are still under his protection. He has his own inner circles. His best friend was Thailand’s ex P.M. Thaskin. Together, back then, they made billions of dollar.
    K.N and his family doesn’t have to work for another three generations.

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