Min Aung Hlaing, Prime Minister of Myanmar (since Feb 1, 2021)
Min Aung Hlaing (born 3 July 1956) is a Burmese politician and army general who has ruled Myanmar as the chairman of the State Administration Council since seizing power in the February 2021 coup d’état. He took the nominally civilian role of prime minister of Myanmar in August 2021 upon the formation of the Provisional Government. He has also been the commander-in-chief of Defence Services since March 2011.He previously served as Joint Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Defence from 2010 to 2011 and was a member of the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) chaired by the president of Myanmar.
Born in Minbu, Burma, Min Aung Hlaing studied law at the Rangoon Arts and Science University before joining the military. Rising through its ranks, he became a five-star general by 2013. During the period of civilian rule from 2011 to 2021, Min Aung Hlaing worked to ensure the military’s continued role in politics and forestalled the peace process with ethnic armed groups. Min Aung Hlaing was closely involved with the military’s crackdown on the Rohingyas that led to the Rohingya crisis.
Claiming voting irregularities and electoral fraud in the 2020 Myanmar general election, Min Aung Hlaing seized power in the 2021 coup. Having detained several lawmakers, including the President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Su Kyi, he established the interim State Administration Council (SAC) military junta. With the outbreak of the 2021 Myanmar protests, Min Aung Hlaing ordered a clampdown and suppression of demonstrations. With allegations of human rights abuse and corruption, Min Aung Hlaing has been subjected to a series of international sanctions.
Min Aung Hlaing is married to Kyu Kyu Hla, a retired lecturer, in 1980. He has three children, including son Aung Pyae Sone and daughter Khin Thiri Thet Mon.
Win Myint, Former President of Myanmar (on Feb 1, 2021, the military ceased power, detaining President Win Myint)
Win Myint (born 8 November 1951) is a Burmese politician and former political prisoner who is serving as the 10th President of Myanmar since 30 March 2018. He was the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Myanmar from 2016 to 2018. He also served as MP for House of Representatives from 2012 to 2018.
Win Myint was born in Nyaung Chaung Village, Danubyu, Ayeyarwady Region, Burma to parents Tun Kyin and Daw Than. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the Rangoon Arts and Science University. He married to Cho Cho and the couple has one daughter, Phyu Phyu Thin, a senior advisor of City Mart Holdings.
On 21 March 2018, following the resignation of Htin Kyaw as President of Myanmar, Win Myint resigned as Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw, a move seen by many as a preparation by the National League for Democracy for Win Myint to be put forward as a candidate for the presidency. He was succeeded by his deputy T Khun Myat.
On 23 March 2018, the Pyithu Hluttaw confirmed the election of Win Myint as the House of Representatives’ nominee for vice president, paving the way for Win Myint to enter the election process for the next President of Myanmar. He defeated Union Solidarity and Development Party’s candidate Thaung Aye with 273 votes to the latter’s 27.
On 28 March 2018, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw elected Win Myint as the 10th President of Myanmar, with 403 out of 636 lawmakers voting for him.
Htin Kyaw, Former President of Myanmar (elected on Mar 15, 2016; resigned on Mar 21, 2018)
Htin Kyaw (born 20 July 1946) is a Burmese politician and scholar who has been President of Myanmar since 2016. He is the first elected civilian to hold the office since the 1962 coup d’état. The second son of scholar Min Thu Wun, Htin Kyaw was born in Rangoon, Myanmar. After graduating from Rangoon University in 1968 and University of London in 1975, he worked in various positions in the education, planning and treasury ministries.
He is an ethnic Mon-Bamar, and was mentioned as a possible presidential pick after the 2015 general election, while National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency. He was inaugurated as president on 30 March 2016, taking office from his predecessor Thein Sein.
Htin Kyaw was born in Rangoon, British Burma (now Myanmar), to the late Burmese scholar Min Thu Wun and Kyi Kyi.
Htin Kyaw graduated high school from English Methodist High School in 1962. He enrolled at the Rangoon Institute of Economics (then part of the Rangoon Arts and Science University) and graduated with an M.Econ. in statistics in 1968. He started working as a teacher while studying towards his master’s degree. He then moved to University Computer Center as a programmer/system analyst in 1970.
Htin Kyaw pursued further studies on a scholarship to the Institute of Computer Science, University of London in 1971–1972 and attended computer studies in Asia Electronics Union, Tokyo in 1974. He completed a second master’s degree in computer science in 1975. He attended a course at the Arthur D. Little School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1987.
Htin Kyaw has been married to Su Su Lwin since 1973; she is the incumbent House of Representatives MP for Thongwa Township and Chairperson of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives. His father was the famous writer, poet and scholar Min Thu Wun, who won a seat in the 1990 election. His father-in-law, U Lwin, was a co-founder of the National League for Democracy.
Thein Sein, Former President and Former Prime Minister of Myanmar (Burma) (elected President on Feb 4, 2011)
Thein Sein (born 20 April 1945) is the current prime minister of Burma (officially Myanmar). He was appointed in April 2007 by the nation’s ruling military junta as interim prime minister, replacing Soe Win, who was undergoing medical treatment. Thein Sein became Soe Win’s permanent successor on 24 October 2007 after Soe Win’s death on 12 October 2007.
Thein Sein held the position of first secretary in the ruling State Peace and Development Council junta. He is the country’s fourth-highest ranking general, and also serves as the chairman of the government-sponsored National Convention Convening Commission. Thein Sein carried out high-level negotiations with Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Sometime after his official appointment as prime minister, he was promoted to the rank of full general from lieutenant general. On his first official visit outside Myanmar as prime minister, Thein Sein carried out high-level negotiations with Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Than Shwe, General of Myanmar (Burma)
Senior General Than Shwe (born 2 February 1933) is the dictator of Myanmar (Burma), serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw and chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) since 23 April 1992. SPDC is the name of the former State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), established in 1988. He is also the head of Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA). These positions and titles effectively amount to Than Shwe being what is generally referred to as the “head” of Myanmar’s ruling military junta.
On 27 August 2010, rumors surfaced that Than Shwe and and his deputy, Gen. Maung Aye, along with six other top military officers, had resigned their military posts, and that he was 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 rumor was proven false as the Burmese state media referred to him as Senior General three days later
Than Shwe was born in Minzu village, near Kyaukse, Mandalay Province, British Burma. After working as a postman he enlisted in the Burmese army, where he participated in the government’s powerful counter-insurgency campaign against ethnic-Karen guerrillas in eastern Burma.
After the military coup in 1962 by General Ne Win, Than Shwe continued to rise steadily through the ranks. He reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1972, Colonel in 1978, Commander of the South West Regional Command in 1983, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Brigadier-General and Deputy Minister of Defence in 1985 and then Major-General in 1986.
He also obtained a seat on the ruling Burma Socialist Programme Party’s Central Executive Committee.
The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) was created after the military organised another coup in response to the democracy uprising of 1988, and Than Shwe was appointed as one of 21 members of the cabinet headed by General Saw Maung.
On 23 April 1992, Saw Maung unexpectedly resigned, citing health reasons, and Than Shwe replaced him as Chairman of the Council, head of state, Secretary of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
He is known to be a diabetic, and he is rumoured to have intestinal cancer. He rarely makes public appearances.
Than Shwe flew to Singapore on 31 December 2006. Concerns about Than’s health intensified after he failed to appear at an official Independence Day dinner for military leaders, officials, and diplomats on 4 January 2007. It was the first time since he took power in 1992 that Than did not host the annual dinner. Than Shwe had checked out of Singapore’s General Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment, and returned to Burma two weeks later.
In 2006, a home video footage of Than Shwe’s daughter Thandar Shwe’s wedding was leaked on the Internet, which sparked controversy and criticism from Burmese and foreign media for the lavish and seemingly ostentatious reception.
After days of anti-government protests, there were unconfirmed reports that Than Shwe’s wife and pets fled the country on 27 September 2007, possibly to Laos.
Than Shwe ranked No. 4 on Parade Magazine’s 2009 “World’s Worst Dictators” list.