It was reported that some military generals went to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned in Nay Pyi Taw prison, sparking controversy. Military leaders see This move as an attempt to find a way out of their dilemma. It is speculated that this action could potentially facilitate more effective propagation and division within the armed resistance.
Summary of the process:
In 2023, several generals from the military council reportedly visited State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was unjustly imprisoned in Nay Pyi Taw prison. This visit caused controversy in June.
The generals involved in the visit were identified as Lieutenant General Soe Thut, Minister of the Interior of the Military Council; Lieutenant General Yar Pyae, and retired Lieutenant General Khin Zaw Oo. News reported meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on two occasions, specifically on May 27, 2023, and June 4, 2023.
The military council denied the existence of such meetings, claiming they were fabricated.
However, despite the military council’s denial, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi revealed that similar undisclosed meetings had occurred.
In November 2022, members of the NLD Party Central Committee, Daw Sandar Min and U Toe Lwin, reportedly met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, initially denied by stakeholders but later admitted.
Additionally, on March 25, 2023, with permission from the Military Council, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to meet with some members of the NLD Party Central Committee, though she reportedly refused.
Pro-military Telegram channels initially circulated the news of the alleged meeting, which General Zaw Min Tun, the spokesperson of the Military Council, later denied as inaccurate. The media’s coverage of the “meeting” was subsequently criticized and altered.
The Red Flag conducted a study on this misinformation and propaganda surrounding the purported meetings between the Military Council and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The beginning of the process:
The Ayeyarwaddy Times News initially reported on the afternoon of June 12 that some generals had met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Among the military council’s vice prime ministers, Lieutenant General Soe Thut Kyi, Minister of the Interior, was reported to have visited Daw Aung San Suu Kyi along with Lt. Gen. Ra Penu and retired Lt. Gen. Khin Zaw Oo on May 27 and June 4.
There were discrepancies among news outlets in their coverage of the meeting. While some outlets confirmed the meeting, others labeled it as false or did not mention it at all.
The Red Flag’s analysis revealed that four news outlets reported on the meeting, each providing slightly different details, yet all seemingly from the same source.
- Ayeyarwaddy Times News reported:
“It is known that they visited Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss peace issues and address ongoing violence. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly did not respond.”
- The Irrawaddy: Burmese Edition stated:
“The discussion primarily focused on current external issues and efforts to counter the PDFs.”
- RFA Burmese confirmed:
“We can confirm that the meeting occurred twice. While previous sightings were reported, they could not be verified. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss peace efforts and address violence. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly did not provide any comments.”
- Mizzima news agency reported:
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly did not comment on the meetings. The meetings took place on May 27 and June 4, according to confirmed reports. While there were previous indications of such meetings, they could not be confirmed.”
All four outlets shared similar information with the same sources, though the timing of their reports varied, as evident in the provided links.
News links where you can learn:
- Some military council leaders visit Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw prison (Ayeyarwaddy Times News โ 12 June 2023- 12:38 p.m.)
- Military Council delegation visits imprisoned Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (The Irrawaddy Burmese Edition โ 12 June 2023- 13:05 p.m.)
- Some military generals went to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (RFA: Burmese โ 12 June 2023- 16:13 p.m.)
- Military Council Delegation to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (The Irrawaddy Burmese Edition โ 12 June 2023- 19:24 p.m.)
- Military Council delegation to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (video/audio) (The Irrawaddy Burmese Edition โ 12 June 2023- 19:51 p.m)
- Some generals went to see State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Mizzima โ 12 June 2023)
- Some generals went to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (The Mindat Post โ 12 June 2023- 21:06 p.m.)
- Is the military council trying to use Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (RFA: Burmese โ 13 June 2023- 06:10 a.m.)
The SAC’s Denial
General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the military council, categorically denied the existence of the meeting, dismissing it as mere rumor. Two media outlets reported on the interview, with VOA-Burmese news agency releasing the report on June 13 and BBC Burmese following suit on June 14.
Related News Links:
- “Military Council Denies False Reports of Meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi” (VOA-Burmese โ June 13, 2023).
- “What Does the Military Council Say About Meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi?” (BBC Burmese โ June 14, 2023 – 8:30 a.m.).
- “Military Council Denies Allegations of Visiting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Exact Location of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Detention Not Disclosed” (BBC Burmese โ June 14, 2023 – 10:35 a.m.).
- “Major General Zaw Min Tun Denies Meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi” (Mizzima โ June 14, 2023 – 22:50 p.m.).
Counter-Publication by Military Supporters
On June 12, when the initial news surfaced on pro-military Telegram channels, two channels disseminated the content. These channels may have been propagating biased news. If the meeting did indeed take place, they hinted that the military council could have ulterior motives.
“Nothing happens without reason. At the appointed time, elections will be held in accordance with the constitution, so it must have been suggested to look after oneself. This statement is made because NLD doesn’t want violence. If they can’t control their people, the Tatmadaw will conduct elections and resort to force to restore order. It must be said that this is a favorable outcome for Daw Su. If she insists on not controlling her followers, if she remains stubborn and unyielding, the consequences will fall on Daw Suu Kyi’s shoulders.”
- Hmine Wai Channel
The phrasing used in the military council lobby’s release, “it must have been suggested to look after oneself,” closely resembles the response from the Nay Pyi Taw news source to the aforementioned news outlets, which stated, “to prevent violence” and “to assist in peace efforts.” However, since the military lobbies posted their content after the news media, it’s conceivable that they adopted the media’s reports as their narrative.
“It is absolutely impossible for generals to meet a criminal in prison. I’ve never seen it, and the rumor is only spread by pro-Western media.”
Ko Hla Shwe (True News), Thazin Oo, from Kyaw Swar channels (June 13, evening)
Related Links to Military Council Lobby Misinformation and Time of Publication:
- https://t.me/kyawswar96999/39229 ( Kyaw Swar โ 12 June 2023- 14:40 p.m)
- https://t.me/hminewai/32467 (12 June 2023- 15:33 p.m)
- https://t.me/Officalnews121/11989 (Ko Hal Shwe โ 13 June 2023- 18:24 p.m)
- https://t.me/Thazinoo969/8841 (Thazin Oo- 13 June 2023- 18:24 p.m)
- https://t.me/kyawswar96999/39292 (Kyaw Swar โ 13 June โ 18:24 p.m)
- https://t.me/kothetjournalist/44451 (Ko Thet โ 13 June 2023- 18:35)
- https://t.me/peoplemedianews/35840 ( People Media- 13 June 2023- 18:44 p.m)
- https://t.me/Phoesi01233/15931 (แแแบแแผแแบแแผแฎแธ แแญแฏแธแ แแบ โ 14 June 2023- 18:03 p,m)
- https://t.me/dgf21news/54670 (DGF21News- 16 June 2023- 14:32 p.m)
- https://t.me/Youth_Talk/48 (แแฐแแแบแ แแฌแธแแญแฏแแบแธ -Youth Talk- 19 June 2023- 18:12 p.m)
It is crucial to examine the political context surrounding the events that unfolded on June 12 when reports emerged that the generals had met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. By analyzing the timeline, we can observe the following:
June 8 – U Uttamatha, the Bishop of Thanlyin Township, Yangon Province, known for his close ties to the military council, visited NLD party patron Tura U Tin Oo, advocating for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s retirement from politics.
June 10 – Founder of Free Burma Rangers (FBR), David Eubank, announced via his Twitter account that Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service is now available on a limited basis in Karenni State.
June 12 – The establishment of the Karenni Pay Interim Administrative Council was announced.
June 13 to 24 – Karenni troops launched attacks and captured all military council camps in Mae Se Township on the Myanmar-Thai border in Kayah (Karen) province.
Additionally, BBC reported on June 14 that the military council denied the meeting, followed by a review article published on June 17. Here are some key points extracted from the article:
- On May 27, Lt. Gen. Ra Penu and retired Lt. Gen. Khin Zaw Oo were in Yangon, and on June 4, they were reported to be in Nay Pyi Taw, according to BBC sources.
- Sources in Nay Pyi Taw, close to members of the military council, confirmed frequent meetings between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and generals associated with the military council.
- Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun denied the dates and individuals reported by some news outlets, yet sources suggest regular meetings between military council members and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. However, the nature of these meetings remains unclear.
- It is reported that Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Soe Thut has been tasked with addressing the needs of Aung San Suu Kyi in prison, while the identity of the other lieutenant general involved remains unconfirmed, according to a BBC news source from the military office.
The utilization of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a political tool by successive military regimes has become apparent, with current military leaders resorting to various tactics, including spreading propaganda and seeking political compromise, in an attempt to alleviate mounting pressure. By engaging in meetings with both generals and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, they seem to be testing the political waters and gauging public sentiment.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, now 78 years old, remains detained in Nay Pyi Taw Prison, serving a lengthy sentence of 33 years across 19 cases. Given her circumstances, it is unclear how these meetings with the generals transpired.
Previous attempts by expelled NLD party members Daw Sanda Min and U Toe Lwin to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were unsuccessful. Similarly, during her period of arrest, numerous efforts were made by the diplomatic community and others to secure meetings with her, all of which were denied.
Reports from four news outlets initially indicated that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with the generals, showcasing inconsistencies in their reporting. The reported reasons for the meeting varied, including discussions on current events, violence prevention, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lack of commentary.
If the meeting indeed occurred, it can be analyzed from a propaganda and strategic standpoint:
A) The generals may attempt to shape the narrative by influencing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s message, portraying themselves as agents of stability and defenders against revolutionary forces, thus safeguarding public welfare.
B) They may leverage promises of elections contingent upon stability, framing democracy as contingent upon the nation’s tranquility and development, rallying support for their cause.
C) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s confinement could be justified as a necessary measure for peace discussions. By aligning with her non-violent principles, they could dissociate from armed movements, potentially undermining revolutionary forces.
This strategic maneuvering aims to manipulate public perception and diminish opposition, ultimately serving the military’s agenda.