Nuclear defector’s hometown swarmed with junta agents

Many official looking strangers have been turning up in Shan State North’s Kyaukme Township, hometown of Burma Army missile expert Maj Sai Thein Win, the latest exposer of the Burma ruling military junta’s nuclear ambitions recently, according to local sources.

Several officers were deployed to the town as soon as the news of the junta’s nuclear program was disclosed and released by the exile media and international media last week. The town and the house of Sai Thein Win have been under watch by the security since, said a local resident who wishes to remain in anonymous.

Maj Sai Thein Win during his first year at DSTA, 1993 photo: S.H.A.N.

No one was reported to have been arrested up to date. But all the family members of Sai Thein Win were summoned by the officers for interrogation, a source told SHAN.

“They did not ask much. They just asked his mom whether or not he [Sai Thein Win] was still in contact with the family,” he said.

Sai is the youngest of 4 siblings. “He was a brilliant student,” a friend remembers.

Sai finished his high school in 1993 with distinction in two subjects. He then continued his studies at the Defense Service Technical Academy (DSTA). He served in the army for 15 years. He was promoted to the rank of major and was a deputy commander of a military factory at Myaing which was built to support the nuclear regiment near Thabeikkyin, where, he claims, the regime is trying to build a nuclear weapon.  He had specialized in rocket engines after five years of study in Russia.

“The news of Sai Thein Win and the nuclear weapons were so popular among the public now. Everyone talks about him and admires him. But some people are also shocked to learn about the military’s nuclear projects,” said another source.

Among the security officers who visited Kyaukme, one was also reported to have said that he also admired Sai’s courage and his “well done exposeဲ.”

A Burma watcher in Thailand commented that it was obvious that even the junta’s own army officers were not satisfied with the situation as the country’s income is spent mostly for the nuclear project than other welfare projects such as public healthcare and education.

According to London based the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ report released in 2007 Burma spent 0.4 percent of its national budget on healthcare and 0.5 percent on education while almost 30 percent was spent on military.

shanland news

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