[Burma’s] Commander-in-Chief General Min Aung Hlaing yesterday praised Thailand’s ruling junta, saying it was right to seize power to protect national security and people’s safety.
During a meeting in Bangkok with Supreme Commander General Tanasak Patimapragorn, a deputy leader of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Min Aung Hlaing said the Tatmadaw – Myanmar’s armed forces – had had a similar experience to Thailand, only worse, in 1988.
Later, Min Aung Hlaing lunched with Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda, who reportedly regards the [Burma] commander like a son. Prem had close ties with Min Aung Hlaing’s father when Prem was the Thai Army commander in the late 1970s.
Min Aung Hlaing, who asked Prem to adopt him when they first met in 2012, meets with Prem whenever he is in Thailand. Prem yesterday gave him gifts that included a portrait of HM the King with Privy Council members.
Thailand’s military on Friday compared its seizure of power in May to restore stability after months of unrest to the brutal crackdown by Burma’s former junta in 1988 to snuff out a pro-democracy movement.
Thailand’s military justified its intervention by the need to restore stability after months of unrest and demonstrations by pro and anti-government protesters.
Perhaps unwittingly, the deputy chief of the Thai junta likened its seizure of power to one of the darkest chapters in the rule of Burma’s junta, its crushing of pro-democracy protests in 1988 when at least 3,000 people were killed.
“[Burma’s] government agrees with what Thailand is doing in order to return stability to the nation. [Burma] had a similar experience to us in 1988, so they understand,” said Tanasak Patimapragorn, supreme commander of Thailand’s armed forces, following a visit to Bangkok by Burma’s army chief General Min Aung Hlaing.
Burma’s junta stepped aside in 2011 after nearly five decades of repressive rule and a nominally civilian government full of former military people has pushed through political reforms, freeing hundreds of political prisoners and unmuzzling the press.
In contrast, Thailand’s army seized power after months of street protests designed to oust elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra.
BP: One would expect the Burmese military to act clueless about what transpired in 1988, but are some in the Thai military so unaware of what transpired in Burma in 1988???!!!! This is also the problem with meeting with the Burmese military. They may praise you…