News / Asia

Second Burmese Defector Was Summoned Home, Says Kyaw Win

A recent photo of Kyaw Win, the second-ranking official at the Burmese embassy in Washington, D.C.
A recent photo of Kyaw Win, the second-ranking official at the Burmese embassy in Washington, D.C.

Multimedia

Audio

Turmoil at the Burmese embassy continued this week when first secretary Soe Aung announced he was seeking political asylum in the United States, becoming the second U.S.-based embassy staffer to defect in less than two weeks.

On July 4, former deputy chief of mission Kyaw Win defected, saying his efforts at political reform had been rejected and that he feared  prosecution by the Burmese government.  

VOA Burmese service reporter Thar Nyunt Oo spoke with Kyaw Win shortly after his colleague Soe Aung announced his defection on Wednesday.

What do you know about why Soe Aung defected?


Kyaw Win: "As far as I know, he was summoned back to [Burma] within 24 hours. That indicated he's considered guilty of wrongdoing.  It also indicates that the Burmese government does not trust the civlian staffer. They trust only the ex-military officials."

Listen to VOA's interview in English with Kyaw Win

Why 24 hours? What kind of wrongdoing do you think?

Kyaw Win: "I believe that it is related to my defection. But, I've never seen such a practice  throughout my career, that someone was summoned back within 24 hours. It is very difficult to gauge why they hastily did that kind of thing."

Can you tell me more about why do you think there's discrimination between the civilian diplomatic staff and the ex-military staff?

Kyaw Win: "Look at the investigations being done for my defection. Why only Soe Aung, who is a civilian staffer? There are so many other people responsible in the Washington office. Everyone is responsible whenever anything happens in the office, so they should be investigated all together.... Also throughout my career, we know that there's unequal treatment to the civilian staff in cases of promotion, transfer, benefits. What I mean is, we don't mind serving as followers after those who are really qualified for their job, but it is not the case in many cases."

What do you hear about other embassy staffers who returned to Burma? We heard that they're being investigated for your defection.

Kyaw Win: "I hope that they will be alright. Think about that: how would they know my defection? How would I tell them?"

But yet they are being investigated.

Kyaw Win: "Yes, they are. But I don't know much details."

Soe Aung was summoned back to Burma. Do you think that this was related to your defection? Can you elaborate?

Kyaw Win: "They [Soe Aung and the two other civilian diplomats under investigation in Burma] are being blamed for not knowing about my defection earlier. But you know that they are my inferiors."

You stated that when you defected last week that the foreign ministry in Burma was disappointed about your attempts to improve relations between the U.S. and Burma. How so?

Kyaw Win: "To improve bilateral relations, we have a lot of give and take and compromise and a lot of negotiation. What I understand about U.S. policy toward Burma is it is very much depends on improving the human rights record and democratic reforms in Burma. But what is the difficulty for me is, as you know, the human rights situation, especially in remote areas, is getting worse. But for me, working throughout my career, I was hoping the situation would improve gradually. But it hasn't. After 1998, [the military leaders] promised changes but they never happened. And in 2004, the government led by General Khin Nyunt was talking about the changes, but it never happened. Things are getting worse."

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid