But both Ne Win and Khin Nyunt didn’t count General Than Shwe a junior general at that time as a tactically-capable and strategically-cunning one who would finally remove suddenly-going-mad Saw Maung and grab the throne for himself. They thought Than Shwe would be a useful puppet and let him take over the throne. They thought wrong and they both paid for it.
Than Shwe forcefully retired and shifted all senior generals who are the serious competitors to the outer civilian ministries under Khin Nyunt who was then running the government as S-2 of the SLORC (State Law & Order Restoration Council). By placing his confidents at the controlling positions inside the Army Than Shwe then silently built his power-base.
Once he had the stronghold of the Army he disbanded the universally-hated MIS (Military Intelligence Services) and put away Khin Nyunit and all his men in prisons all over Burma. When Ne Win and his then-very-powerful family tried to retake the power Than Shwe put them away in prison too. And Ne Win in harsh house arrest. When Ne Win died he burnt the corpse and dumped the ashes into the River Hlaing. No burial and no memorial for Ne Win.
Deeply worried of his family’s future Than Shwe then drew the 2008-Constitution which prohibits the retrospective prosecution of army generals and he made relatively-younger Min Aung Hlaing (MAH) as army Commander-in-Chief over his No-2 Maung Aye, No-3 Shwe Mann, No-4 Myint Aung, and No-5 Ko Ko: all senior and capable generals.
And he would not retire in 2015 as Than Shwe’s master-plan. After tasting the absolute power of life and death for five years MAH self-extended his retirement age five more years to 65 and somehow managed to block Mya Htun Oo’s progress in the Army by putting him away as Intelligence Chief in 2014 and later in 2016 as only the Chief Of General Staff. MHO is now completely in the outer as the Defense Minister after the February-1 Coup.
Than Shwe’s intention of preventing another coup by another general was clearly in his brain-child the 2008-Constitution which clearly stated in the Article-413 that State power could only be transferred into the hands of C-in-C by the elected President of the Union. By his February-1 Coup MAH has used his feet to erase what Than Shwe had written with his own hands. MAH is now seriously endangering not just Than Shwe's life but also the existence of Burmese Army.
So what Than Shwe and his inner circle of retired generals are doing now to get out of that pickle MAH has forced them into. Yesterday on April-3 there was an informal gathering of those retired generals and some members of MAH’s own SAC - the State Administrative Council - at Than Shwe’s palatial house in Nay Pyi daw. The long meeting lasted from 11 am to 4:30 pm.
So what were they talking about at that informal gathering? And what did they choose to do with recalcitrant MAH? There are only three options left.
First Option; Save the 2008-Constitution, the retired generals, and the Tatmadaw itself by sacrificing MAH, or
Second; Let that idiot MAH keep on going his suicidal way and risking, if he eventually lose to the popular uprising, their lives on the gallows, or
Third; Just quietly stay united behind MAH to win ultimately by more killings, more arrests, and more brutalities against the long-suffering populace.
If they choose the first option the stupidly-brute MAH will arrest all of them and put them in prisons. Than Shwe will eventually have the taste of what he put Ne Win Through all those years of harsh house arrest. Karma is a bitch, Than Shwe now worries deeply.
Any either way the military dictatorship in this time and days of internet, social media, and expanding global village will definitely fail! It don't matter whatever option they choose.
|Battle of grandsons: Nay Shwe Thway Aung Vs Aye Ne Win.|