Myanmar’s junta chief meets NLD party figure

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tin Oo, a 94-year-old former army general and co-founder of NLD, met with Min Aung Hlaing. AFP

Myanmar's junta chief sat down with a prominent senior figure of Aung San Suu Kyi's ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) party on December 5, the first significant meeting since the February coup.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing met with longtime politician and NLD stalwart Tin Oo, who has in recent years receded from the political landscape due to old age and poor health.

"Min Aung Hlaing told U Tin Oo that health treatment could be provided if necessary, and his army hospital will help," the junta's information team announced.

Tin Oo, a 94-year-old former army general and co-founder of NLD, was pictured wearing his party pin – a trademark red flag with a golden peacock – during the meeting with Min Aung Hlaing, who was all smiles in civilian attire.

The junta chief also met with Khin Nyunt, 82, former spy chief-turned-prime minister before he was arrested under the former junta, spending years in prison before his release in 2012.

While some in the West saw him as a potential reformer, Khin Nyunt's reign as spy chief saw activists harassed, arrested and tortured en masse.

"It seems unlikely this meeting was sanctioned by the NLD," Richard Horsey, International Crisis Group's Myanmar senior adviser said. "Given that Min Aung Hlaing seems determined to sideline Aung San Suu Kyi and won't meet with her, perhaps he's looking for other meetings that will be politically cost-free."