To the world he is a classic paranoid dictator, to his victims, a sadistic tyrant, and to himself a hero in the fight to prevent his nation from being controlled by foreigners. As thousands of his countrymen fought hunger and thirst and the devastation caused by the cyclone, Geneeral Shwe ordered his military to concentrate their energy making certain starving people voted in his referendum to sanctify a new constitution which enshrines the military in power. Although his nation is facing incredible poverty, he threw a milti-million dollar wedding for his daughter in which the bride was bedecked with jewels as the guests drank their way through an ocean of champagne.
This two bit dictator began his career as a humble postal clerk and then entered the army where he worked himself up to the pinnacle of power. He has an abhorent fear of foreigners and believe they are plotting to rid him of power and gain control of his nation. Thousands of students, monks and other dissidents have been beaten or killed along his path to power. In the Burma which he renamed, Myanmar, minorities are violently subdued, villages destroyed, children kiidnapped and forced into labor as virtual slaves or made to serve in the army, and women are raped.
Than Shwe is a cold and calculating dictator who insists on complete control and will not tolerate any opposition to his ideas. Unfortunately, the nations of southeast Asia and India and China support the petty tyrant because he allows them to exploit the wealth of his nation. Until the outside world takes action, Than Shwe will enjoy his power while the Burmese people suffer.