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Gen. Saw Maung Dead at 65

The Rangoon Post posted on June 25.997

Gen. Saw Maung Dead at 65

RANGOON, Burma (Reuter) - Gen. Saw Maung, who chaired Burma's ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council when it was set up in 1988, died of a heart
attack Thursday at his residence, a government statement said. He was 69. 

Saw Maung led the military to power by crushing a mass democracy uprising in
September 1988. 

The military killed thousands of people that year and the junta run by Saw
Maung arrested thousands of opponents to the regime, including Nobel Peace
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Saw Maung had behaved erratically in public following the 1991 awarding of
the Nobel Peace Prize to Suu Kyi and the international condemnation that

He was also thought to have a drinking problem, to be suffering from diabetes
and a heart condition. 

Saw Maung was army chief of staff and defense minister before leading the
coup and becoming chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, or
SLORC, on Sept. 18, 1988. 

Shortly after seizing power, Saw Maung vowed to hold multi-party elections,
but also said the army's first priority was to ``restore law and order and
peace and tranquility.'' 

The elections were held in 1990 but never recognized after Suu Kyi's National
League for Democracy party won them by a landslide. 

Saw Maung was a protege of former strongman Ne Win and was thought to have
led the 1988 coup under his orders. 

Ne Win, who is still alive, was the much-feared architect of authoritarian
rule who led Burma for more than a quarter century under the ill-fated
Burmese Way to Socialism doctrine. 

Saw Maung gave up his defense portfolio in March 1992 and stepped down as
SLORC chairman on April 23, 1992 because of ill health. He was replaced by
his former assistant and the current prime minister, Senior Gen. Than Shwe. 

10:39 07-24-97