Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Major Aung Linn Htut Open letter to Than Shwe

Than Shwe as Buddha: Shwedagon Pagoda

Major Aung Linn Htut Open letter to Than Shwe
(Burma’s Former Military Attaché to the United States)
In Response to Cyclone Nargis

Dear Senior General Than Shwe,

It is time to stop believing and relying so much on superstition, astrological predictions and advice, as Burma will disintegrate due to a failure to adhere to our cultural and religious values.

I understand that the following are a reflection of your reliance on superstition:

(1) If any foreign forces or the United Nation were to enter Burma’s territory, the SPDC would loose power.

(2) Rangoon city, established by the King Aung Zeya, will be destroyed after 200-years.

(3) A Tuesday born lady will rule the country.

(4) Than Shwe will face difficulties and run into trouble before August 2008.

These predictions were made by an old Pa-O woman, whom Kyiang Kyaing worships as a goddess. Kyaing Kyaing first consulted this woman, who was famous for the accuracy of her predictions, around 1983/84 when she was the wife of the Commander of Irrawaddy Division.

The woman predicted that Kyaing would become a queen one day. As the prediction became true in April 1992, Kyaing became fully convinced in the accuracy of her predictions. Since then she has done everything the woman has advised. The extreme nature of her superstition and belief in this woman were known to close friends of the family, such as the former Education Minister U Than Aung, General Ne Win (Than Shwe was his personal officer), Colonel Soe Shein (Than Shwe’s Security Officer), Lt-colonel Myint Kyi (Kyaing Security Officer).

I know of the following actions undertaken by Than Shwe,

(1) Than Shwe has ridden the white (albino) elephant that is kept at Mindama hill, believing he is the re-incarnation of the famous King Thalun.*

(2) Gave a verbal order for his wife to be referred to as the royal mother and his daughters as royal princesses.

(3) The timing of the release and detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is based on superstition.

(4) General Soe Win was appointed as Prime Minister because he was Tuesday born (to ward of the rule of another Tuesday born Daw Aung San Suu Kyi).**

(5) Moved the capital to Kyat Pyay suddenly without any planning.

To my knowledge, Than Shwe has never made any decision without astrological advice.

My wish is that Than Shwe and his family should cease to make decisions based on astrological advice and predictions, especially at a time when people in Burma are experiencing serious difficulties.

To consider the country first, I would like to suggest to Than Shwe to put aside his self interest and to stop believing in astrological and supernatural predictions and comply with international appeals and wishes.

Major Aung Linn Htut.


*King Thalun was the King the white Tsu-lar-mani Pagoda in Sagaing, which is recognizable by its large white dome. He built this pagoda to fulfill the wish of his late wife. King Thalun was a contempary of the Moghul King Shah Jahan of India, who built the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The era under King Thalun is widely believed to be the most prosperous era in Burmese history. This is why he is referred to as Thalun, which translates as the richest or greatest era in (Burmese history).

** Soe Win’s death might be interpreted as a failure to ward-off rule by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Pa-o woman is illiterate and of the same ethnicity as Kyaing.

Than Shwe had a jade Buddha statute based on his image at around the age of 40 built and placed in the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is widely believed that foreign leaders and dignitaries are guided to the image to pay homage to ‘Than Shwe’.

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