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From the Irrawaddy
Burmese Relief Center--Japan
DATE:June 13, 1995
TIME: 7:02PM JST
AUNG SAN SUU KYI: BETWEEN SLORC AND A
by Aung Zaw
During his visit to Rangoon last year, US Congressman Bill
Richardson was told by detained leader Aung San Sun Kyi to
be sure to ring the bell at the Shwedagon Pagoda before he left.
By doing so, he would herald a return trip at some date.
It is not known whether the US lawmaker followed Suu Kyi's
advice but his follow up visit to Burma earlier this week was
fraught with difficulties.
Despite fears that Richardson's trip would be canceled by junta
leaders at the last minute, he eventually made it to the
Burmese capital. Just before the trip a Burmese veteran
journalist based in Rangoon said: "They won't let him to see
'the woman.' They don't want to see him."
As the journalist predicted Richardson's wishes were not
fulfilled. Richardson's request to meet Burma's most
prominent opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Aung San Sun Kyi was denied.
Richardson described his latest trip as " unsuccessful,
frustrating and disappointing." "I was stiffed. I failed. I was
unable to see Aung San Sun Kyi."
At the Foreign Correspondents of Thailand (FCCT)
Richardson expressed his disappointment, frustration and
"There is no commitment to resume a dialogue with Aung San
Sun Kyi. It is my view that she will not be released by July
Richardson did, however, meet Burma's most powerful
intelligence chief Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt.
Khin Nyunt who Richardson considers a moderating force
among the top Slorc leadership, reiterated his earlier position
that Sun Kyi is surrounded by communists and that her
supporters had forgotten her.
There had been promising signs last year that political progress
was being made when Slorc leaders allowed Richardson to
meet Suu Kyi, and the London-based Burmese monk, U
Rewatta Dhamma was acting as a go-between for Slorc and
Since the beginning of this year analysts have noted the return
of a hard-line faction within Slorc. As a result, the
headquarters of Karen and dissidents were attacked and
captured and refugees seeking refuge on Thai soil were
attacked by marauding Burmese army. Dissidents have been
facing stepped-up severe surveillance, arbitrary arrests and
detention. A Rangoon-based diplomat who asked to be called
James said: "The hard-line faction put pressure on Gen Khin
Nyunt not to let Richardson meet Aung San Suu Kyi. He
suggested, "Why doesn't he (Richardson) try to meet Gen
Maung Aye (vice-chairman of Slorc) so to know his position
on Suu Kyi."
"It is obvious there is another faction [within Slorc] on the Suu
Kyi matter so there is not only Lt Gen. Khin Nyunt we have to
meet and talk to," he added.
James said Lt-Gen Kyaw Ba, Lt-Gen Htun Kyi, Foreign
Minister Ohn Gyaw are real hard liners.
Michael Myint, a well-connected Burmese businessman in
Rangoon said, "Last year, they (Slorc leaders) decided to meet
her in good faith but she didn't want to 'compromise' with
The Slorc leaders made conditions that Suu Kyi could not
accept sources in Rangoon suggested including - Slorc's
bottom line is that Suu Kyi must quit Burmese politics or go
Michael Myint continued: 'They (Slorc leaders) do not care if
Suu Kyi cannot accept their conditions, they have money and
power so they will continue their own way."
James said one group, possibly led by Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt
wanted to play a PR game to gain more international kudos.
"This group care about their image, want aid and recognition,"
HOLES APPEAR IN KHIN NYUNT'S INTELLIGENCE
by A Correspondent
Perhaps Burma's powerful military intelligence chief Lt-Gen
Khin Nyunt has no intelligence but only intentions to make
Khin Nyunt raised many eyebrows when he accused Thai
politicians of stocking border tensions between Rangoon and
The state-owned New Light of Myanmar quoted Lt-Gen Khin
Nyunt as saying that "some Thai politicians traditionally turn
to diversionary tactics whenever they face an unstable political
situation." He said recent border tension was the result of a
"political ploy" by Thai politicians to "divert" the attention of
the Thai people from a political crisis.
But at the time of the serious incursions by Burmese soldiers it
was no one but Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt who said Burma did not
regard any existing misunderstanding with its neighbours as a
Khin Nyunt, however, has changed his tone and said, "Such
border problems were created by the "self-seeking" Thai
politicians and were aided and abetted by the foreign media,
some non-governmental organizations and lackeys of foreign
governments bearing ill-will against the Slorc."
Why did Khin Nyunt make such a brazen attack? Is it sheer
ignorance or poor intelligence?
Surin Pitsuwan, Acting Foreign Minister of Thailand, rebuffed
Khin Nyunt saying, "No one could set up border conflicts with
Burma as a political ploy." Then Surin went to the point: "I
don't think Mr Khin Nyunt understands that Thailand is a
democratic country, which is totally different to Burma."
In fact, it was not the first time Khin Nyunt made a such
strange statement. In 1990 Khin Nyunt made a 7-hour long
speech in which he alleged the democracy movement in Burma
was created by the Communist Party of Burma. Ironically, at
the time, the CPB which was based near the China border had
collapsed because of a serious mutiny. Besides, the handful of
senior communist leaders did not pay serious attention to the
urban-led democracy movement.
On April 1, Khin Nyunt spoke at the closing ceremony of
Special Refresher Course No. 15 for Basic Education Teach-
Again, he accused Khun Sa of using his wealth of drug money
to organize many "bogus organizations with former Shan
rebels who escaped to foreign countries, including the United
States, to indulge in anti-Myanmar activities." Nine such
groups had attended a conference in New York in January
which was organized by the Shan State Association (USA)
which Khin Nyunt said was a drug trafficking organization.
He also accused Karen leader Gen Mya, a Khun Sa colleague
"with whom he has been secretly trafficking in heroin since
He also named Peter Bourne, a former adviser to the Carter
Administration on anti-narcotics, as an example of "some in-
fluential persons in the US" Khun Sa was trying to gain the
Chao Tzang (Eugene Thaike), son of the first president of
Burma who helped organize the Shan Conference in New
York spoke to Burma Alert bulletin in Canada. "If you look
carefully at Khin Nyunt's speech, you will notice that his
claims are not true. For example, it is not true that everybody
except Khun Sa has stopped opium production. It is also well-known that Bo My
a is not engaged in drug trafficking, Either
Khin Nyunt is trying to fool the Burmese public or the quality
of the intelligence he is receiving from his spy network is very
Chao Tzang continued: "From his allegations, I think Khin
Nyunt must have a very high opinion of Khun Sa and his
organization. I do not need to attend a course in Ho Merng
given by Khun Sa in order to learn how the world works. Khin
Nyunt's allegations about Peter Bourne shows how ignorant he
is about how things work in US. Maybe he needs to take one
of Khun Sa's political courses."
Indeed, the question again is: how did Khin Nyunt find out the
information? As a military intelligence chief does he really
know what is going on around him or is he just trying to make
up stories? Or does Khin Nyunt still think that whatever he
say will be believed and listened by Burmese people?
In the past, it was claimed that Khin Nyunt maintained one of
the most efficient military intelligence services in Asia.
But now it may not be true.
Since Khin Nyunt cannot find out the information for himself
he must rely on his men. But the question again is who can he
trust? Who has given him the false information?
It is possible that Khin Nyunt's trustworthy network in
Thailand has been receiving wrong information from some un-
Or else is there ploy within DDSI try to ridicule Khin Nyunt or
hurt the DDSI?
Nevertheless, a source in Rangoon suggested Khin Nyunt's
rival faction has penetrated the DDSI. The result was that
some of Khin Nyunt's men were replaced or transferred.
One Burma observer suggested Khin Nyunt wants to show off
the power of his intelligence service. "He always does it that
way but most of his information is not intelligent or true."
A diplomat in Rangoon said recently, "Watch Col Kyaw Win.
He is a rising star." Col Kyaw Win, Deputy Chief of the DDSI
recently made strong statements against Bangkok and
dissidents in exile.
"He is relatively young and bright. But it is uncertain whether
he will become the head of DDSI," a diplomat said.
Journalist Bertil Lintner wrote in an article two years ago:
"Kyaw Win has on three separate occasions in his career
served directly under Than Shwe - first as adjutant to Than
Shwe when he served as commander of the 88th LID in the
late 1970s, then as chief intelligence officer of the same unit.
Kyaw Win is still very close to Than Shwe and has only
formal relations with Khin Nyunt."
Thus, the assumption is Col. Kyaw Win was placed by Than
Shwe and the anti-Khin Nyunt faction to watch Khin Nyunt.
In any case, Khin Nyunt's recent statement indicated that he
has no intelligence information nor a clear understanding and
knowledge of the outside world, even of his neighbouring