Snr-Gen Than Shwe waves as he reviews troops during a military parade marking the country's 65th Armed Forces Day at a parade ground in Naypyidaw on March 27. (Photo: Getty Images)

Junta Chiefs Resign in Military Reshuffle

By THE IRRAWADDY Friday, August 27, 2010


Burmese junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe and his deputy, Gen Maung Aye have resigned their military posts, along with six other top military officers, according to sources in Naypyidaw on Friday.

The eight top men will retain their government posts, however, the sources said. Than Shwe, 77, will continue to head the Burmese government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

Than Shwe reportedly handed his position of commander-in-chief of the Burmese armed forces—which he has held since April 1992—to Lt-Gen Myint Aung, the army's adjutant general.

Maung Aye has similarly transferred the deputy commander-in-chief post to Lt-Gen Ko Ko, head of  Chief of Bureau of Special Operation- 3, but  remains the country's deputy head of state, the sources said.

Than Shwe is expected to remain head of state until at least the end of the 2011 fiscal year, when he would transfer his position to the elected president. The regime's third-ranking official, Gen Shwe Mann, is tipped to take this position.

Shwe Mann also quit his military position, as did the regime's No.4, Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, and both will reportedly stand as candidates for the  junta's largest proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), in constituencies in Naypidaw.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that a dozen military officials resigned from the army, including Shwe Mann and Tin Aung Myint Oo.

Lt-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, Chief of the Bureau of Special Operation (2), is to take over the army's joint-chief-of-staff position from Shwe Mann, the sources say. The regime's Prime Minister Thein Sein and several government ministers, who resigned from their military posts to lead the USDP, will reportedly renounce their government posts next month.

Beginning this week, all government ministers have been asked to leave their state-provided residences and assemble in Rangoon. An interim government is expected to be formed soon.

Several sources have reported these latest changes within the regime leadership, but details of the news which came shortly before the country's first election in 20 years remain sketchy. The Irrawaddy is still trying to confirm them. 

The November election is viewed as an attempt by the regime to further entrench its control on power.

Observers say that if news of the changes at the top is confirmed, Than Shwe would be making a successful transfer of powers to his trustworthy military subordinates, proteges and cronies who would dominate Burma's future elected government and continue to call the shots from behind the scenes.


Reshuffle in Regional Military Chiefs: Details

The regional military commanders affected in reshuffle have become chiefs of the Bureau of Special Operations (BSO) or other posts at the War Office.

Maj-Gen Yar Pyae, commander of Eastern Regional Military Command is reportedly reassigned with a promotion as BSO-1 chief, Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of the Northern Regional Military Command as BSO-2 chief, Maj-Gen Myint Soe, commander of Northwestern Regional Military Command as BSO-3 chief, Maj-Gen Thet Naing Oo, commander of Southeast Regional Military Command as BSO-4 chief, Maj-Gen Tin Ngwe, commander of Central Regional Military Command as BSO-5 chief, and Maj-Gen Hla Min, commander of Southern Regional Military Command as BSO-6 chief.

The four regional commanders affected by the recent order of the office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) on Friday are Maj-Gen Kyaw Swe, the commander of Southwestern Regional Military Command, Maj-Gen Thaung Aye, the commander of Western Regional Military Command, Maj-Gen Hla Min, the commander of Southern Regional Military Command, Maj-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, the commander of Coastal Regional Military Command and Maj-Gen Win Myint of the Rangoon Regional Military Command.

According to sources, Brig-Gen Tin Maung Win, commander of the 22nd Light Infantry Division has replaced Kyaw Swe as commander of the Tatmadaw’s strategic Southwestern Command in the Irrawaddy Delta.

Brig-Gen Soe Htut, commander of the 88th Light Infantry Division has been ordered to replace Hla Min, while Brig-Gen Thein Win, commander of the 99th Light Infantry Division has become the new commander of the Costal Regional Military Command. Brig-Gen Tun Than, commander of the 77th Light Infantry Division has replaced Win Myint.

Brig-Gen Maung Maung Lay has been appointed as commander of Napyidaw Regional Military Command, while Brig-Gen Ye Aung has become commander of Central Regional Military Command.

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Oo Maung gyi Wrote:
It is not Than Shwe's resignation from military post, but it is a real palace coup d'etat.

Myanmar Patriots Wrote:
Surely, after the elections the SPDC will be redundant. How does it fit in the scheme of things? The SPDC is not a political party but only a caretaker government that has gone on too long because of the circumstances. The constitution does not preserve the SPDC. If it does, how? It does not make sense conceptually and practically.

We will have to inform our king HM King Shwebomin II about the situation.
Hopefully, His Majesty can take time off from the high society balls and other social events in Europe.

Yangontha Wrote:
Gen.Than Shwe is no more commander-in-chief of the Burmese armed forces,but, he will be the head of the Burmese government(SPDC) as U Than Shwe till 2011. If he is elected on 7/11,he will become President U Than Shwe, so, is there any difference? Yes, for him, for he doesn't need to wear the Junta military uniform full of fake badges on his chest but will wear a new USDP uniform with more lies in his head.

Maung Thar Ki Wrote:
This kind of reshuffle is just a trick to the people and the civilized. We never believe in the Military Regime. The so-called 2010 Election is just an effort to transform Military Dictatorship to Civilian Dictatorship as Gen Ne Win did in 1974.
Mg Thar Ki

Myatye Moe Wrote:
To all my fellow Burmese citizens,

I think this is a golden chance for Burma for change. Instead of boycotting, lets support the election, lets just go and vote! We must pull together in this transitional period. Or, we will have to wait another 20 more years.

María Alva Wrote:
Please stop injustice!

DetDoe Wrote:
Than Shwe will never resign voluntarily. If it was true, it will be his beginning of the end.

Ngal Hriang Wrote:
Is our hated General Than Shwe becoming our President? I hope God will not allow this to happen. For the sake of more than 50 million people, God will stop him from going further. We are so tired of hearing his name and seein his pictures. We see him as an agent of Satan.

Natshinnaung Wrote:
Well! They are trying to do what Ne Win did in some ways. But Ne Win's way did not meet the people's expectation and the people's needs. Than Shwe has no better idea to make himself free from all the problems he created. We the people will catch him and send him to the death chamber anyway.

A.M.O Wrote:
Oh! Boy! Do you believe this?

If you do, you are a complete fool.

Mind you, this is the most crucial part of Than Shwe's master game plan to save his own skin, his family & fortune.

See how it'll work out as his "payback" time is lurking around.

aung minor Wrote:
Don't be fooled by this reschuffle thing. This is no more than snakes shedding skins. We lived through this under Ne Win's rule. Forteen years after he shed his skin and became "U" and "Chairman" - in 1988 - did he actually relinquish formal powers, as the result of popular hatred towards his regime. Even then the bastard remained the power behind the scenes, as Khin Nyunt and Saw Maung continued to take order from him well into early 1990s.

timothy Wrote:
They all have committed dreadful crime against humanity and genocide. The leading nations are pushing for the commission of inquiry and to refer the criminal case to International Criminal Court. Burmese people are not alone in this struggle. We all need to abstain from participating in election. No Vote campaign is gaining momentum in recent days. NLD had openly advised supporters to use their human right not to cast any vote on the election day. We have to show very powerful people power on election day and tell the Junta that we will not bow to any pressure from their oppressive illegal laws and illegitimate acts. The junta has got no mandate to manage our life and we have to bring out people power to scare the junta away. The Junta chief is very much afraid of people power and now he is very secluded in his rat-hole Bunker. Than Shwe= Saddam Hussein= Hanged to death for high treason. Boycott the Election to start the people power against Fascism.

Maung Myeik Wrote:
The resignation of the Burma's junta chiefs from the army posts has to be welcome although it is done to prepare for the coming general election in November 2010. The state of the country's economy and people remain unchanged and it's hoped that the new Constitution can bring change to those conditions. Change means improvement.

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