Aung Thein Linn Denies Comments

Aung Thein Linn Denies Comments

Aung Thein Linn, pictured in Naypyidaw. (PHOTO: THE IRRAWADDY)

The chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in Rangoon Division, Aung Thein Linn, denies that he made controversial comments during an interview with Chinese publication Southern Weekend, according to the party’s general-secretary Htay Oo who spoke to The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Aung Thein Linn has been widely criticized in Burma after he was quoted by the liberal Guangzhou-based journal lambasting President Thein Sein, Aung San Suu Kyi, the US, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Htay Oo said that he had spoken to Aung Thein Linn, a central executive member of the USDP and a former mayor of Rangoon, who assured him that his comments had been misconstrued and mistranslated in Southern Weekend.

“He [Aung Thein Linn] didn’t really remember what he said. He said it was not an official interview. That these were just informal comments,” said Htay Oo.

“He told me that if it transpires that he said something offensive, then he would take responsibility for his comments, and that the party could take action against him,” the USDP general-secretary said.

In an interview with Popular Myanmar News Journal on July 23, Aung Thein Linn said that the Chinese newspaper “perhaps misinterpreted his words.”

“I said that it is necessary to conduct an assessment of the Myitsone Dam project—for transparency’s sake. If the project harms people’s property and livelihoods, then nobody will be contracted to work on it,” he said; though the published interview quoted him as saying he opposed President Thein Sein’s decision to suspend the Myitsone Dam project, and that construction on the dam must be resumed.

In the published interview in Southern Weekend, Aung Thein Linn is asked about the public support for the NLD and Suu Kyi in Burma. He is quoted as saying: “They [people] are crazy. OK, she [Suu Kyi] is popular, but only because she is the daughter of Gen. Aung San. He is our national hero.”

Aung Thein Linn is also quoted as saying, “I don’t trust Ban Ki-moon, nor the UN. They are all the same. All they think of is to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs.”

Htay Oo insisted that whatever comments were made to Southern Weekend, Aung Thein Linn did not represent the USDP and his comments could not be taken as party policy.

Translations of the interview quickly went viral in Burma with many publications reproducing his comments and many social-networkers criticizing the USDP man.

According to Popular Myanmar News Journal, a group of 300 Burmese residents in Pakokku town in northern Burma’s Magwe Division planned to stage a public protest on July 30 against Aung Thein Linn, saying that his comments had “insulted the people of Burma.”

Other social-networkers suggested that if Aung Thein Linn had truly been misrepresented he would sue Southern Weekend.

From a military background, Aung Thein Linn was mayor of Rangoon from 2003 to 2011. Although roundly accused of vote-rigging in the November 2010 general election, he won a seat in the Lower House for the USDP representing South Okkalapa constituency.

The Irrawaddy reported on Aung Thein Linn in February 2011 in an article titled “Future Not Bright for Aung Thein Linn,” and noted that he was notorious for his ill-temper and insults.

“I built roads and dug wells for you all! Don’t forget that you owe me!” was the trademark greeting the Rangoon mayor would routinely level at members of the public when he attended a public event.

13 Responses to Aung Thein Linn Denies Comments

  1. Sure, since you took the mayor’s job building roads and digging wells is what you did. But since you have money frozen in the banks in Australia how can we know that we got all those roads and wells at the right price? Even your USDP colleagues seem to be abandoning you, how long can you survive Mr Mayor?

  2. One should be very much surprise to learn that Aung Thein Lin as one of the EC members of USDP and the party member of the Ruling Party criticizing the UN secretary in such a manner. He is rather supposed to be the follower of U Zaw Min who yelled louder than everybody and know nothing. Regarding with the Irrawaddy Dam project he might be advocating for their ancestors Chinois. Shameful with the capacity to be the mayor of Yangon one can imagine what had he done for the capital the streams,dams and wells he and his teams created on the roads and streets. We people will prove that we are neither crazy nor idiot like him in the near future.

  3. The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), morphed out of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), the military regime’s rough equivalent of Hitler’s Brown Shirts.

    The USDA’s involvement in the assassination attempt on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and its violent attack against anyone challenging the regime’s rule are well documented.

    Many naive people are been fooled by the veneer of change being orchestrated in Burma today. However, schooled, longterm opponents of the junta are alert to the charade.

  4. It shows his status and how stupid he is.
    Shame on him! He insulted all.
    This is not acceptable under any condition.
    Chinese news agency is impossible to make that very serious mistakes as a new agency.I believe he did say so.

    He shouldn’t be a MP.
    A MP has to represent the people.
    His comments are completely against Myanmar people wills.
    He is finished.
    USDP should dismiss him if they really want people vote.
    Otherwise, the whole party is very cetain that it has no future as a political party.
    People should think how many idiots like Aung Thein Lin are in USDP and whether they should represent people in 2015.

  5. “He [Aung Thein Linn] didn’t really remember what he said”

    Right! He did not remember what he said but somehow he knew what the Chinese paper said was wrong.

    “He said it was not an official interview. That these were just informal comments.”

    Is he saying that the informal comments did not count? Whatever came out of his mouth belonged to him regardless of the setting. The guy looked rather confused. Is he on sleeping pills or what?

  6. Lesson for Aung Thein Linn: Never trust the Chinese (media)!

  7. This Mp might be fool,he don’t know what he talk about. No one take action him and his fool colleagues are also covered him by lawsuit. shit!Burma wouldn’t change anything because those kind of Mp sit in Parliament.

  8. This is a highly corrupted politician.
    President Thein Sein would get rid of him in no time,his final struggling before the big chop comes.

  9. Regardless of him saying its official or not, when someone of his rank speaks it is always official. He can make aton of money if he sues the chinese news agency, but then again he has forgotten what he said so, that’s that.
    However it is not the quality of someone you would expect in such a high level, not being accountable for what was said or having a habit of saying thing irresponsibly.

  10. Aung Thein Linn was not the mayor but the pimp. What did he do for the city of Rangoon(Yangon)? Nothing. But he successfully helped whores.

  11. It is good that they are keeping him in the USDP party. The more people like him in the party the more unpopular they are with the people. We should not be complaining.

  12. It may be true that we cannot trust Chinese Media. But one cannot deny the fact that he is as irresponsible as the party he represents. Though he might not represent his party while speaking such nonsense,he at least he represented it symbolically.

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