For not informed readers:MYINT SWE

Lieutenant General
Chief of Bureau of Special Operations – 5 (BSO-5)
Chief of Military Affairs Security

Born: 24 May, 1951
Wife: Khin Thet Htay

An ethnic Mon, Myint Swe is the first Regional Commander to rise above the rank of Major General. He is known to be personally close to Sr Gen Than Shwe, a fact inextricably linked to his career success. Myint Swe was reportedly close to Than Shwe’s family during his rise to the top, and Kyaing Kyaing appreciated his deferential approach. His promotion to head of Military Intelligence following the purge of Khin Nyunt is a strong indication of the trust placed in him by the SPDC’s top generals.

In 1973, Myint Swe became a Second Lieutenant when he graduated from the 15th intake of Rangoon’s Defense Service Academy, and rose quickly through the ranks. He became Commander of the IB 97. In 1992 he joined LIB 58. In 1996, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he took over as the commander of LIB 404.

In 1997, he was promoted to Brigadier General and named Commander of Rangoon’s LID 11.

He joined the SPDC in 2001, when he was appointed Commander of the Southeastern Regional Command when incumbent Thiha Thura Sit Maung died in a helicopter crash. Later that year he was summoned back to the capital to take over the Rangoon Command and was promoted to Major General. He also functioned as Chairman of the Rangoon Division Peace and Development Council.

Following the purge of Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, Myint Swe took over as head of the new Military Intelligence agency while retaining his position at the top of Rangoon Command. In October 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.

In January 2006, Lt Gen Myint Swe moved from Rangoon Commander to the newly created BSO-5. The creation of the new Bureau coincided with the SPDC ministries’ move to Naypyidaw.

Myint Swe commands the Bureau of Special Operations – 5 (BSO-5), which is responsible for ‘security, military, political, economic, and social tasks’ in Naypyidaw and Rangoon.

Ranks Held

1973 – Second Lieutenant
Unknown – Lieutenant Colonel
1997 – Brigadier General
2001 – Major General
2005 – Lieutenant General


Myint Swe has played a very public role in major events in Burma.

Khin Nyunt’s ouster

In 2004, Than Shwe turned to Myint Swe to ouster intelligence chief and Prime Minister Khin Nyunt. Myint Swe arrested Khin Nyunt at the airport after having ordered the soldiers under his Rangoon division to arrest key men attached to Khin Nyunt’s intelligence office. Continue reading “For not informed readers:MYINT SWE”

Myint Swe: The Tatmadaw’s Next Top Dog?

Lt-Gen Myint Swe is being widely tipped to succeed Snr-Gen Than Shwe as the Burmese army’s next commander in chief, according to several dissidents in exile and Burma observers.

Rumors have circulated that Myint Swe is junta strongman Than Shwe’s favored choice to take over from him. Myint Swe was recently promoted to quartermaster general of the Tatmadaw, Burma’s armed forces, and is also commander of the Bureau of Special Operations 5.According to analysts, Myint Swe’s appointment indicates that the junta chief intends to pave the way for him to assume a top-ranking position in the military’s hierarchy. Traditionally, a quartermaster in the Tatmadaw is among the names in the hat who could feasibly be promoted to commander in chief of Burma’s armed forces.

Myint Swe reportedly caught Than Shwe’s eye in 2002 when he was involved in the arrests of late dictator Gen Ne Win’s family after an alleged coup conspiracy was uncovered. Then, in October 2004, Myint Swe proved his loyalty to Than Shwe by heading the purge against former military intelligence chief Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt. Continue reading “Myint Swe: The Tatmadaw’s Next Top Dog?”

Burmese commanders arrive in Naypyitaw for quarterly meet

by Salai Pi Pi
Friday, 20 November 2009 20:31

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Commanders of Burma’s military commands arrived in the new jungle capital of Naypyitaw, as the ruling junta is set to commence its year-end quarterly meeting.

Sources close to the military establishment in Naypyitaw told Mizzima that the junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe had directed the Commanders to reach Naypyitaw by November 20 for the quarterly meeting, scheduled to begin in the coming week.

The quarterly meeting, according to the source, is likely to come up with a reshuffle among high ranking officials including re-appointment of cabinet ministers and allow old ministers, who are to contest the 2010 elections, to retire.

In the wake of the meeting, the junta is likely to form a political party, which will contest for office in the 2010 elections. The party will be backed by the junta’s civilian organization – the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) – whose patron is the junta chief Than Shwe.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burmese observer on the Sino-Burma border said the ensuing quarterly meeting will be more significant than previous meetings, as it will mainly focus on the details of next year’s elections.

“In this meeting, they will not only review the tasks they have accomplished this year but will also discuss matters related to the election,” Aung Kyaw Zaw told Mizzima on Friday.

He also said the agenda on transforming cease-fire groups into the Border Guard Force will be included in the meeting. Continue reading “Burmese commanders arrive in Naypyitaw for quarterly meet”

Burma continues to fail to eliminate forced labour: ILO

by Mungpi
Friday, 20 November 2009 19:28

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The International Labor Organization’s (ILO)’s Governing Body on Thursday said Burma’s ruling military junta has failed to implement recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry in eliminating the use of forced labour.

The Governing Body’s decision was made on the information presented by the ILO’s Liaison Officer, and the statement made by the Permanent Representative of the Government of the Union of Myanmar (Burma).

The decision notes that Burma has so far failed to fully comply with the Forced Labour Convention, No. 29 (1930), the implementation of recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry and the complete elimination of the use of forced labour in the country.

The decision recalls past conclusions and urges the Burmese authorities to issue a statement against the continued use of forced labour and the need to respect freedom of association.

The Governing Body also urges the Burmese government to allow cases of forced labour to be reported and to consistently follow-up so that the practices cease and the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished.

“Particular attention should be paid to monitoring infrastructure projects such as oil and gas pipelines,” the resolution said. Continue reading “Burma continues to fail to eliminate forced labour: ILO”

Border Patrol seize illegally harvested teak in Mae Hong Son

Illegally harvested processed teak logs worth millions of baht were seized by the Border Patrol, provincial police and forestry officials in two different sub-districts in Mae Hong Son Wednesday, November 11.
79 teak logs were found and seized by the BPP squads, Mae Ngao National Park officials , Ban Mae Koh forestry officials, local police and Sub Moei District Administration officials, in the forest near Ban Mae Lui, Tambon Mae Suad in Sob Moei district, Mae Hong Son.
Another further 150 teak logs were also confiscated by officials from the Huay Sing Forest Preservation and Protection Unit, the Salween National Park and BPP ranger forces based in Tambon Mae Sam Laeb, near Salween river banks.
337th Border Patrol (BPP) Company officials, led by Pol. Lt-Col. Sippanant, deputy superintendent of the 33rd BPP, based in Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son, believe that the teak is actually being harvested in Thailand’s national forests and is then transferred into Burma, opposite Tak’s Ta Song Yang district, to be processed. The processed wood is brought back into Thailand for transportation and sale.
The police suspect a joint effort between Thai nationals and the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) to illegally harvest golden teakwood from Thailand. It is believed that the abundance of landmines in the forests in Burma, plus increased vigilance by Burmese authorities, have brought the DKBA over the border into Thailand to harvest teak.
Officials report that due to the large number of logs seized in Mae Sam Laeb, it will take some time before enough equipment and elephants can be brought to the area to remove the teak.

Q&A: Maternal Mortality Rates ‘One of the Saddest Cases’ in Asia

Marwaan Macan-Markar interviews NOELEEN HEYZER, U.N. under-secretary general and head of UNESCAP
BANGKOK, Nov 20 (IPS) – Nearly 15 years after a landmark international conference to advance the rights and freedoms of women, the picture in the Asia-Pacific region is mixed, says a leading women’s rights advocate and senior United Nations official.

While educated women and those with skills “can go as far as they want,” it is a different reality for those who come from Asia’s poorer millions. “There have never been cracks in the glass ceiling for many women in poor rural areas,” says Noeleen Heyzer, head of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a U.N. regional body based in Bangkok.

A similarly mixed picture appears with the push to strengthen the cause of women through the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a U.N. treaty that has been ratified by 186 countries. While lawmakers and governments have embraced this international convention, culture and traditional beliefs have placed roadblocks.

Most disturbing for Heyzer is the region’s troubling record to slash the maternal mortality rates, the fifth goal in a set of eight development targets pledged by world leaders to be achieved by 2015. At a U.N. summit in 2000, the Millennium Development Goal for maternal mortality aimed to reduce by three-fourths the maternal mortality cases in 1990 by 2015.

Today, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for close to half of the nearly 500,000 maternal deaths recorded annually across the world.

“There is no reason why so many women have to die,” says Heyzer, who is also the former head of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) before her appointment two years ago to head ESCAP. “The figures are shocking, especially in a region where you have economic powerhouses.” Continue reading “Q&A: Maternal Mortality Rates ‘One of the Saddest Cases’ in Asia”

U.S. Calls for Burma Dialogue as Suu Kyi Writes to Junta

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. said it’s hopeful that political dialogue can begin in Burma between the military government and opposition parties after pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi wrote to junta chief Senior General Than Shwe.

The State Department is aware of the letter and hopes it will be “the beginning of a dialogue that will lead” to Suu Kyi’s release, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters in Washington yesterday.

Suu Kyi requested a meeting with Than Shwe in the letter, dated Nov. 11, and said she was willing to work with the government in the interests of the nation, the Associated Press reported, citing a spokesman for her National League for Democracy.

President Barack Obama’s administration is seeking to engage directly with the junta to press for democracy in Burma. Obama brought up the case of Suu Kyi with the prime minister of Burma during a meeting of Southeast Asian nations in Singapore on Nov. 15, according to the White House.

The U.S. has “started a new, very focused dialogue with the government of Burma” that calls on the junta to “open up its political system,” Kelly said, according to a transcript.

He called on the regime to release more than 2,000 political prisoners, including Suu Kyi.

U.S. envoy Kurt Campbell earlier this month became the most senior American official to visit Burma in 14 years. He met with Suu Kyi, who has spent more than 13 years in detention since her party won the country’s last elections in 1990. The junta extended her house arrest for 18 months in August, potentially excluding her from next year’s elections.

Obama has maintained sanctions on the regime amid the increased contacts.

The United Nations General Assembly voted yesterday to adopt a U.S.-sponsored resolution criticizing human rights abuses in Burma.

The junta was “strongly” condemned for violating rights and was urged to release all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi. The measure passed by a vote of 92 to 26, with 65 abstentions.

Burmese Junta Confiscates Public Oil Wells and Refinery for Chinese Company

Kyukpru: Burmese military authorities have recently seized publicly-owned oil wells that were dug by hand and a refinery on oil-rich Rambree Island in western Burma’s Arakan State for the benefit of Chinese company, reports a local resident.

The resident said a special team that was sent from the new Burmese capital Naypyidaw and local police forces confiscated the hand-dug oil wells along with a refinery in the areas of Renandaung and Munprun under Kyaukpru Township on 10 November, 2009.

“Villagers were ordered to vacate all traditional hand-dug oil wells from their own lands near their villages by a special team led by Brigadier General Myo Thant and local police officer Hla Tun on November 10. They were also told by the authority during the confiscation that no one is allowed to operate drilling in those sites as they have already been leased to CNOOC Ltd.,” he said on condition of anonymity.

The confiscated oil wells are from Kalarba, Chaungfyar, and Chaungwa Villages in the Renandaung area, as well as from Ngaoak, Kyauksalae, and Wamyaung Villages in the Munprun area.

The villager said that one refinery from Munprun Village, which was owned by a local villager named U Nyein Chan Maung, was also confiscated along with the wells. Continue reading “Burmese Junta Confiscates Public Oil Wells and Refinery for Chinese Company”