A top military official crossed a bright line with many in Myanmar yesterday by playing the family card to insult deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as “stupid.”
In comments that were angrily denounced as an insult to both Aung San Suu Kyi and her revered father Gen. Aung San, military spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the nation’s founding hero would not approve of his daughter’s actions to a visiting CNN news crew.
“If Aung San were alive, he would tell Aung San Suu Kyi that she is stupid,” he told CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward in response to her question about what he would think of the current state of affairs, in which the military he founded has killed hundreds of unarmed civilians protesting its February takeover. A majority of those protesters want to see his daughter, 75-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi, returned to power atop a civilian government.
“Historically, he was the father of the Tatmdaw,” Zaw Min Tun added. “He’s our father. No matter what you say about Gen. Aung San, he is still in the hearts of our soldiers as the father of the military, the father of the nation. What I see is that, if General Aung San were here now, I feel that he would only have one word to say after watching these events. I think it is ‘So stupid, my daughter.’ That’s it.”
The angry responses to the interview underscored the split in veneration for the one, whose democratic aspirations died with his 1947 assassination, and the daughter who has embodied them since:
“Don’t bark, idiot. Gen. Aung San is not stupid enough to say this.”
“[The military spokesman’s] father should have used a condom.”
On Sunday, a human rights organization based in Mae Sot, Thailand, estimated that the Tatmadaw had killed at least 564 civilians including 47 children since its coup d’etat was met with widespread resistance.
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