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U Ne Win Cremated According to Tradition - 2002-12-05


The former military dictator of Burma, General Ne Win, has died. He was 91.

He died on Thursday while under house arrest at his lakeside villa in Rangoon. The cause of death was not revealed, but Ne Win had been in poor health for years.

Within hours of his death, Ne Win's body was taken to a civilian cemetery and cremated, according to the Buddhist tradition.

He was denied the military honors normally given to a Burmese general, and no senior government officials were present at the funeral rites.

Ne Win's eldest daughter, Sandar Win, was allowed to attend. She also has been under house arrest at the family compound.

Her husband, Aye Zaw Win, and the couple's three sons were convicted earlier this year of treason for plotting a coup. They were all sentenced to death, but have appealed the verdict.

Ne Win came to power in a bloodless coup in 1962 and ruled Burma with a firm hand until his retirement in 1988. Even from retirement, he retained behind-the-scenes clout for some time.

Although Ne Win and his daughter were not charged in the coup plot, they were placed under house arrest following the arrest of the other family members.

Information for this report is provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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