04 Apr '11, 4am

Myanmar strongman Than Shwe, who ruled for almost two decades, retires as head of the military - AFP

YANGON: Myanmar strongman Than Shwe, who ruled with an iron fist for almost two decades, has retired as head of the military after handing power to a nominally civilian government, officials said Monday. Than Shwe, previously known as the "senior general", last week disbanded the ruling junta following a November election marred by the absence of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and claims of cheating and intimidation. "The senior general and vice-senior general (Maung Aye) have retired already," a Myanmar official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They are going to have a rest now." A second official said: "Although they are retired, they will give some advice when the government asks for it." The army hierarchy retains a firm grip on power in the resource-rich Southeast Asian country, and many analysts believe Than Shwe will retain a significant role behind t...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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