Sri Chinmoy and Burmese Dictator Than Shwe


To most of the public and the international community, Than Shwe was the malicious and paranoid antagonist to the courageous democracy icon and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi . Assuming power in a 1992 palace coup, four years after a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters entrenched the country’s status as a global pariah, his two decades in power further immiserated Myanmar’s people, while a cadre of regime tycoons earned billions from lucrative business concessions and the narcotics trade.

Despite indications that Than Shwe’s health was worsening toward the end of last decade, few in Myanmar’s democratic opposition believed the stream of reports, beginning in earnest around 2008, that the dictator would relinquish power and retire gracefully. Yet after an election in 2010, during which a party of retired generals won a vote widely regarded as rigged, and then the return to constitutional rule the following year, the junta was dissolved and its power ceded to a new national parliament.

In the years that followed, political reform caused a partial liberalisation of Myanmar’s crony economy and reintroduced some of the freedoms curtailed under military rule, culminating in the first free and fair multiparty elections in more than half a century and the rise of Aung San Suu Kyi as the de facto leader of the country.

Meanwhile, Than Shwe had decamped to the gigantic compound built for him in Naypyidaw , the regime’s purpose-built capital in the centre of the country, and prepared to live out the remainder of his years as a private citizen. He had negotiated an orderly political transition that allowed him to relinquish power while guaranteeing his protection from the international prosecution demanded by democracy campaigners.

Secluded in his home and protected by a round-the-clock contingent of armed guards, little has been seen or heard of Than Shwe since his apparent retirement.

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This text give you an Idea of who was Than Shwe. A Dictator . In 2001 Chinmoy went to Burma on a Christmas trip and met with the Burmese junta . Chinmoy had preferred meeting Secretary #1 Than Shwe rather than Aung Sang Su Kui. It is recorded on the website which link may be found below . Several disciples (mainly Canadians) had come to the monastery in Mandaly to learn how to meditate …

It was pointed out to Chinmoy by various disciples that it might not be a good idea to associate himself with a brutal dictator. Those disciples were more or less told to quiesce, that Chinmoy had his own reasons for meeting heads of states. One of these reasons could be that Heads of States are eligible to nominate people for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Patrick B.

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