Burmese coup leader says in interview he’s surprised by backlash

PHOTO: Min Aung Hlaing said he didn't expect backlash to his coup in a Chinese interview. (via Wikimedia)

In an interview with a Hong Kong TV channel recently aired on Burmese television, Burmese coup leader Min Aung Hlaing said that he was struggling to control Myanmar after a surprise backlash. The interview by the Chinese language Phoenix Television was just aired Thursday in Myanmar. In the interview, the military leader said he did not anticipate such widespread and popular opposition to his seizing power and putting the country under military rule.

The unexpected pushback to his assumption of leadership resulted in his admitted inability to fully control the country now in crisis after more than 3 months since the democratically elected government’s overthrow. He maintained that the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi had stolen the general election last year with mass voter fraud. Claiming that their overwhelming victory was illegitimate, Min Aung Hlaing staged the coup that has seen over 800 protestors killed and thousands of political prisoners jailed including Aung San Suu Kyi herself.

The general said that he failed to estimate that level of dissent to his takeover of the government even after more than 80% of the parliamentary seats went to the NLD in the election, proving the immense popularity of the party.

“I have to say I didn’t think it would be that much.”

In the Phoenix Television interview, the Burmese junta leader dismissed these protestors as nothing more than “dishonest individuals” and labelling the massive protests across the nation nearly daily nothing more than an emotional reaction to the upheaval. He further explained that the protesters were essentially cheating sore losers, angry that he exposed the NLD’s alleged voter fraud in the election.

The coup leader didn’t give a lot of detail in the interview but seemed to suggest that many of the Burmese people involved in demonstrations were only protesting because they feared they could face legal charges for some alleged nefarious actions his new regime could prosecute.

After the election and imprisoning of Suu Kyi and elected President U Win Myint, charging them with multiple crimes, hundreds of thousands of Burmese people flooded the streets to protest to coup. Many young pro-democracy demonstrators continue to demonstrate daily, but they are joined by people of all demographics in widespread support against the coup.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


  1. This interview on Chinese television shows that it was the Chinese Communist Party that organized the coup, does China want the neighboring countries to be all corrupt and easy to control dictatorships, even the Thai dictator is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party?

  2. The guy is a thug with a gun and a uniform, no qualifications or authorisation to take power, has murdered a thousand of his own people, and he’s surprised! The military had something like 7% support. I don’t see this junta succeeding as others have done in the past. Their time is over, particularly the young of Myanmar united with the ethnic militaries will overthrow them, and establish a federal system recognising the rights of the ethnic minority regions. The Myanmar military will be disbanded and its leaders hopefully executed.

  3. One would have thought that Rohingya genocide was a wake up call for the world but sadly no. The useless UN and the rest of the world leaders did nothing back then and will not lift a finger in the future. Myanmar gets all their weapons etc from China through different channels. No wonder the PM of Thailand decided not to go. That would piss of the CCP and complicate future arms deals with China.

  4. What an evil sad looking little man that guy is. Look at all the ribbons on his uniform. I guess a few of them are for things like 25 metre swimming. I just wish western powers would intervene more on grounds of humanitarian need rather than oil or vested interests. Won’t happen and people like him will continue to rule by the gun and kill thousands of his own people.

  5. Dogs of war and men of hate
    With no cause, we don’t discriminate
    Discovery is to be disowned
    Our currency is flesh and bone
    Hell opened up and put on sale
    Gather ’round and haggle
    For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
    Even our masters don’t know the web we weave
    One world, it’s a battleground
    One world, and we will smash it down
    One world, one world
    Invisible transfers, long distance calls,
    Hollow laughter in marble halls
    Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
    Has unleashed the dogs of war
    You can’t stop what has begun
    Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion
    We all have a dark side, to say the least
    And dealing in death is the nature of the beast
    One world, it’s a battleground
    One world, and we will smash it down

  6. Shows how out of touch the military powers are in ASEAN countries. They have absolutely no right to rule or interfere in politics. Treason is the crime, life in prison or death are the solutions on the books in most democracies I would think.

  7. The suffering of millions of people in this world are caused by just two dictatorships, China and Russia.
    Between them they support all of the other evil and murderous dictatorships, like Russia supporting the despot regime in Syria with Putins airforce bombing hospitals killing innocent women and children who have already been bombed out of their homes.
    He also supports Putin also supports that murdering bastard Lukashenko in Belarus who has stolen the election there and is murdering his own people.
    China supports all the other despot regimes like North Korea, and Myanmar by selling them arms and protecting them from censure by vetoing any moves by the decent nations.
    Between them China and Russia are responsible for 90% of the refuges in the world.
    I am not saying that the Chinese and Russian people are bad, but the dictators who run these two countries and keep their people in the dark with total censorship are totally evil.

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