Monday, September 24

Diamonds are a dictator's best friend; beware the white heads!

"... the present head of the [Burma] Government is Than Shwe, who began his career in psychological warfare operations against Burma’s rebellious ethnic minorities. Little is known about him."

"There was outrage last year when video footage of the wedding of one of [Than Shwe's] daughters, Thandar Shwe, was posted on the internet. It showed the bride handing out diamonds to guests, shouting: “They’re real!” -- in a country where many people do not have enough to eat."

"His image took a blow last year, when video of an extravagant wedding for his daughter raised questions about the lifestyles of military rulers in the impoverished country. The leaked video shows Thandar Shwe wearing a staggering collection of diamond encrusted jewelry and extravagant clothing and receiving wedding gifts worth $50 million at a fancy reception."

"Buddhist monks leading the [Burma] demonstrations called for discipline amid rumours that plain clothes policemen posing as monks known as “white heads” because they are easily identified by their recently shaved heads -- still unbrowned by the sun -- were planning to stir up violence among the marchers as a pretext for a bloody Government crackdown."

Quotes from Guardian and Times Online reports

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