The Junta’s No 4 Unexpectedly Resigns
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The Junta’s No 4 Unexpectedly Resigns

By MIN LWIN Thursday, November 12, 2009


Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, who ranked No 4 in the junta, voluntarily resigned from the Burmese armed forces in recent weeks, according to sources.

The general’s unexpected resignation has not appeared in state-run media. He reportedly said that he no longer wanted to be involved in politics and serve in the army.

Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo salutes during celebrations of the country's Independence Day, in Naypyidaw, early on January 4, 2009. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tin Aung Myint Oo, who was the quartermaster-general of the armed forces, retired quietly. He still holds his Secretary 1 position in the State Peace and Development Council, the ruling body that governs the nation.

Lt-Gen Myint Swe, the commander of the Bureau of Special Operation 5, was named quartermaster-general. Myint Swe is a protégé of Snr-Gen Than Shwe, the SPDC chairman and commander in chief of the armed forces.

Tin Aung Myint Oo became a four-star general in March 2009 and was known to be a military hardliner. 

Businessmen who are close to the top military leaders said that there was no question of the battle-hardened general’s loyalty to Than Shwe.

However, there has been speculation that a recent spat between Than Shwe’s grandson and Tin Aung Myint Oo’s son might have trigger Tin Aung Myint Oo’s resignation.

A few months ago, according to a story impossible to confirm, Capt Naing Lin Oo, the son of Tin Aung Myint Oo, crossed swords with Nay Shwe Thway Aung, the favorite grandson of Than Shwe, over the location of the Seven Corners café in Rangoon, owned by Naing Lin Oo.

The café was demolished by government municipal officials because it occupied government-owned land. The information that led to the demolishing of the café was believed to have come from Nay Shwe Thway Aung, who reportedly had personal problems with Naing Lin Oo.

It’s said that the dispute between the two powerful children eventually reached Than Shwe, who reportedly called Tin Aung Myint Oo to find out what was going on.

Realizing that trouble might lie ahead, Tin Aung Myint Oo reportedly dispatched a senior army officer to get his son to sign a paper admitting that he had broke the law by opening the café, sources said.

Naing Lin Oo reportedly refused to sign the paper, but the army officer convinced him with one sentence: “Your dad sent me over here for you to sign this paper. Sign it now.”

Tin Aung Myint Oo, who is now in his 60s, won the Thiha Thura medal in combat against Communist rebels in the 1980s. He led successful operations against Communist insurgents in Eastern Shan State in September 1988, which led to a cease-fire agreement in 1989.

He served as commanding officer of No 111 Light Infantry Battalion in Sagaing Division in 1990; commander of the Tactical Operation Command under the Northern Military Command in 1992; in 1994, he was a brigadier general with the Military Operation Command based in Kyaukme Township in Northern Shan State. He became commander of the Northeast Military Region in Lashio in 1997. He replaced Thein Sein as secretary-1 when he was promoted to prime minister in 2007.

Tin Aung Myint Oo recently traveled to China to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss the issue of ethnic rebels along the Sino-Burma border.

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han win aung Wrote:
This story is not true. Snr-gen Than Shwe visited Sri-lanka along with Tin Aung Myint Oo and Shwe Man last week.

I think this baseless story will hurt the credibility of journal. I still like to read The Irrawaddy and hope to be able to read it into the future.

best wishes,
han win aung.

aung moe kyaw Wrote:
Impossible. Do you believe it? This is also anti-government group news?

Oo Maung Gyi Wrote:
The end justifies the means. This is the way they have to go away. Nothing is permanent. The world is a stage. Better way out is to respect each other and honor the words what you have said. Do not break the promise. Follow the wisdom of elders and your great grandfathers. Them you can succeed and live a peaceful life. Otherwise, you will have worries and no peace of mind. Dear Generals of the Burma Army, please think a hundred times and honor what you promised to do for the peoples of Burma and do it now.

Zaw Thein Wrote:
Is this news confirmed? I heard that his wife is following with Than Shwe's visit to Sri Lanka.

Than Shwe may not let him resign and hide this real event to public. Later he will be jailed by means of other guilty.

okkar Wrote:
Gen. Tin Aung Myint Oo is a career soldier and a gentleman. He is much respected and loved by his men and his courage and commitment to the country is unquestionable and proven by the medals he received. He is not a hardliner, but a loyal soldier who stayed true to the oath he took.

Tartee Wrote:
Why? They are leaders, but they are narrow-minded. What a pity?

Aung Ye Naing Wrote:
It is sad that a battle-hardened general like him resigned. He defeated many Communist rebels during the last decades.

John Eichler Wrote:
Another crack in the leadership. Hopefully it will all explode and come tumbling down.

tocharian Wrote:
This is the kind of story that convinces me that "western ideals" about freedom, democracy, human rights, etc. will never take root in Burma. The country is a medieval oligarchy ruled by the corrupt elite.

Nay Shwe Thway Aung seems to be the royal prince, Tay Za is the royal "thu htay" (rich man), etc. etc.

I don't think the US can really force a regime change in Burma (they have other more important problems).

It's time now for the Chinese to take control of Burma, and they will!

Khin Maung Phyu III Wrote:
Only in Burma could we have this kind of news.
I feel sorry for Gen. Tin Aung Myint Oo. Or should I?

George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
Gen. Tin Aung Myint Oo is a real soldier and he proved himself to be a true gentleman today.

He lived to hold the top rank, and deservedly, too. He is 60, retirement age.
Since his son crossed paths with Than Shwe's brat, I knew something of this sort would occur.

Tin Aung Myint Oo did the right thing by reining in his wayward son like a true father. Than Shwe proved himself an idiot to summon Tin Aung Myint Oo in this regard.

Hence, Tin Aung Myint Oo took the higher ground and showed moral superiority and guts by sending in his resignation, a very calculated and smart move, which left Than Shwe way down in the hole, morally and otherwise.

Thus, Tin Aung Myint Oo has gone into history in his own stride and in a league of his own before Than Shwe put his boot out.

Than Shwe is simply an idiot, grasping the last straw of power and ill-gotten wealth despite being two decades ahead of Tin Aung Myint Oo in years.

Guys like Than Shwe and his thugs never learn to live, much less die, properly.

Ngal Hriang Wrote:
It would be even be better if these insane generals killed each other until none is left to demonize our country.

timothy Wrote:
Another tree falls as the riverbank is eroded by strong tides. It is an old saying and true of the Burmese junta. Later on we will hear that the general is put on trial for economic misconduct and pushed into jail and clandestinely disappeared in the system.

You could not have this kind of nonsense in democratic countries. It's a bad omen for Than Shwe, if he can see the reality. But I doubt it.

han khine Wrote:
General Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo got his Thiha Thura Medal in March 1989. That was when he led a successful operation against the Communists. The medal was awarded in September 1989 by the late Senior General Saw Maung.

I know all of this because one of my friends got the same medal. Sadly he was not able to receive it himself, because he gave his life on the battlefield for the people and for the country. Only his wife was there to get the medal on his behalf. His name is Vung Lian Mang and his wife is Ciang Lian Mang. She is now in Rangoon's Hlaing Tharyar Township and in poor condition.

We, the Chin people, gave our lives for our motherland Myanmar, but the military, mainly Buddhist, ignored us. We feel very unhappy with the way they treat Chin ethnic people.

Myint Thein,Dallas Wrote:
If General Tin Aung Myint Oo had submitted his resignation, Than Shwe may be reluctant to accept his resignation.

General Tin Aung Myint Oo always travels with General Maung Aye's faction. Never with Than Shwe's faction. This is why it was very interesting to see General Tin Aung Myint Oo traveling with Than Shwe when they were visiting the Irrawaddy Delta last week.

Perhaps Than Shwe is scared that they will stage a coup during his "yadaya" visit to Sri Lanka to save his soul. He may lose his job instead. Khin Nyunt also lost his job when he visited Singapore.

This is how hated military dictators are usually removed.

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