Sun, Mar 10, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Myanmar says it foiled coup attempt


Myanmar's military government announced yesterday that four relatives of former dictator Ne Win who were detained earlier this week had been plotting a coup with army commanders.

The announcement by the government's deputy head of military intelligence came two days after authorities arrested the son-in-law and three grandchildren of Ne Win, 90, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1962 and led this once-prosperous nation down the road to poverty and political repression before retiring in 1988.

Major General Kyaw Win told a news conference that the four -- businessman Aye Zaw Win and his three sons -- had admitted under interrogation that they were planning to overthrow the government because they were dissatisfied with its political and economic policies.

"Upon interrogation, Aye Zaw Win and his sons admitted that they were unhappy as they had suffered some losses in business due to the government's economic policy and that they were unhappy as they are not enjoying special privileges as before," he said.

Kyaw Win did not disclose the names of any military coconspirators and dismissed rumors of conflicts among the top three leaders of the ruling military junta in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Ne Win's home in northern Yangon, which he shares with Aye Zaw Win and his son-in-law's family, was barricaded with barbed wire after Thursday's arrests. The intelligence officer said Saturday that the barricades were a "temporary security measure."

The former dictator's status was unknown, and calls to the house went unanswered yesterday.

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