Getting to Know Burma's Ruling General

Adrees Latif / Reuters

In charge
In this 2005 photo, Than Shwe is seen reviewing troops in Rangoon's Resistance Park to mark the 60th anniversary of Armed Forces Day

Among Manchester United Football Club's 300 million or so supporters worldwide are two Burmese men whose love of the game spans generations. One is a stout, bespectacled, betel nut — chewing septuagenarian, the other his favorite teenage grandson, and like many of their soccer-mad compatriots they stay up late into Burma's tropical nights to watch live broadcasts from faraway England. So far, so normal. But knowing the grandfather in this touching scene is Senior General Than Shwe, the xenophobic chief of Burma's junta, makes it seem all wrong. Rabidly anti-Western, yet pro-Wayne Rooney, is this the tyrant we know...

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