Burma: Smouldering Volcano

The international community is again debating policy towards Burma, prompted for example, by its scheduled chairmanship next year of the regional organisation ASEAN. This month provides plenty of reminders of the unsavoury nature of the regime: it is three years since opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released – she’s since been detained again – and fifteen years since her party won the last democratic elections, but was never allowed to form a government. The generals now in power are involved in an internal conflict that will do nothing for their country’s standing.

The World Today Published 1 May 2005 Updated 15 October 2020 4 minute READ

Larry Jagan

Freelance journalist based in Bangkok

In the past few months murder and mayhem in Rangoon have increased speculation about a major power struggle in Burma. For weeks the capital has been rife with rumours of coups and gun battles in the country’s secretive military leadership.

These have been fuelled by the unexplained death earlier this year of Lieutenant Colonel Bo Win Tun, the personal assistant to the country’s second most powerful General, Maung Aye. At around the same time there was a secret cremation of a military intelligence officer who died during interrogation in the country’s notorious Insein prison. This followed a bomb blast, allegedly detonated by a pro-democracy splinter student group.

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