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Burma’s former military dictator Than Shwe no longer plays a role in the country’s politics, but is instead devoting his retirement days to religious activities.
That was the message the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party’s Deputy Chairman Htay Oo gave reporters when asked outside parliament on Thursday.
“He has already handed over power confidently to the rest of us,” said Htay Oo. “Now we must continue the work. Everyone has a role to play in politics, and so does he [Than Shwe], but the only question is whether he still holds influence.
“Political affairs are now in the hands of representatives in parliament, the government, the Tatmadaw [military] and citizens. He [Than Shwe] too is a citizen, but is no longer in charge.”
Than Shwe was the chairman of the State Peace and Development Council military junta until his retirement in 2011 when he he officially resigned from his position as head of state in favour of his hand-picked successor, Thein Sein.