Amid transition, Myanmar’s Senior ARMYGeneral emerges from a shadows | Reuters

109 views Leave a comment

YANGON Like many of his generation, a conduct of Myanmar’s absolute troops is a new though eager modify to Facebook. On his form credentials picture, a commander-in-chief gives a “thumbs up” from a cockpit of an airplane. Posts uncover him celebrating new year in a normal boar spike headdress and visiting bleeding soldiers.

It’s a distant cry from usually a few years ago, when a usually glance into a work of a troops tip authority came in pompous reports from state media, and offers a daily pointer that a changes unconditional a Southeast Asian republic have reached even a sly generals who ruled for roughly 50 years until 2011.

As he cements his position as de facto No. 2 on Myanmar’s post-election domestic scene, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has remade himself from taciturn infantryman into a politician, open figure and statesman, contend diplomats in Yangon.

“It was like vocalization to a politician,” pronounced one comparison Western diplomat of a new meeting. “Not a soldier.”

People who know him contend he is penetrating to uncover a army – still loathed by many after decades of iron-fisted junta-rule – is a certain force in a transition to democracy, though also that he is in no precipitate for a troops to step behind from politics.

Until Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won a resounding feat in a initial national approved choosing for 25 years in November, Min Aung Hlaing had never had a one-on-one assembly with a Nobel assent laureate.

Since then, they have met during slightest 3 times as a ancestral foes of a army and NLD try to strech agreement on how they will work together once a drawn-out energy transition is finished during a finish of March.

Min Aung Hlaing has shown no pointer he is prepared to give adult a 25 percent of seats in council indifferent for unelected soldiers, nor of permitting a change to a junta-drafted structure that bars Suu Kyi from apropos president.

“The time is not developed yet. It is still early,” he pronounced when pulpy on when a troops would lapse to barracks, according to a twin of an talk with a Washington Post uploaded to his Facebook page shortly after a election.

“The best time might come when there is sum assent and fortitude in a country.”


Under a structure a commander-in-chief, not a municipal president, appoints a heads of a home, counterclaim and limit confidence ministries, giving a troops control of Myanmar’s polite use and confidence apparatus.

With media reports that Min Aung Hlaing’s tenure will be extended by 5 years, he will be a second many absolute figure in government, after Suu Kyi, for a generation of a NLD’s term.

The military’s hostility to step behind from politics completely, notwithstanding a strenuous renouned opinion for a NLD, has been criticized by Western nations and tellurian rights groups, who also credit it of stability abuses.

Myanmar’s generals contend they have a avocation to reason together a nation fractured by racial conflicts until they hold a democracy is fast and durable.

Min Aung Hlaing has complicated other domestic transitions, and creates most of a need to equivocate a disharmony seen in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries after regime change in 2011.

Brazil’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Alcides Prates, pronounced a commander-in-chief told him during a assembly in a capital, Naypyitaw, in January: “We are not going to let Myanmar turn an Arab Spring failure.”

Min Aung Hlaing did not respond to an talk ask from Reuters.


Min Aung Hlaing directed transparent of a domestic activism that was afterwards widespread while study law during Rangoon University from 1972-1974, according to a late comparison law officer who was a contemporary.

“He was a male of few difference and routinely kept a low profile,” a classmate said.

While associate students assimilated demonstrations, he done annual applications to join a country’s premier troops university, a Defence Services Academy (DSA), next during his third try in 1974.

According to a member of his DSA class, who spoke on condition of anonymity, he was an normal cadet.

“(He was) not an superb student. Not a driven person, (but) not a idle person,” pronounced a classmate, who still sees Min Aung Hlaing during a intake’s annual reunion dinner.

“He was promoted frequently and slowly,” combined a classmate, who pronounced he had been astounded he had risen over a officer corps’ center ranks.

A pivotal idea of Min Aung Hlaing has been improving a picture of a military, pronounced Maung Aung Myoe, author of Building a Tatmadaw: Myanmar Armed Forces Since 1948, who says he wants a troops to be seen as “the sons and daughters of a people”.

The Senior General’s Facebook page, launched in 2013, has turn his categorical apparatus for interacting with a media and public, aggregation some-more than 450,000 “likes”, with nearby daily posts detailing his activities and meetings with visiting dignitaries.

“He understands a military, for a final few years, has had a disastrous perspective and a bad reputation,” pronounced Maung Aung Myoe. And he has attempted to urge it a lot.”

(Additional stating by Aung Hla Tun and Swan Pyae Win Aung in Yangon; Editing by Alex Richardson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.