Tin Oo

Tin Oo

Infobox Military Person

lived=12 March 1927-
|caption=General Thura Tin Oo
Commander in Chief of Myanmar Armed Forces (1974-1976)
commands=CO, No.13 Infantry Brigade(1961) CO, South West RMC (1963) CO, Central RMC (1964) Deputy Chief of Staff (Army) - (1972)
Commander in Chief, (1974)
awards=Thuya Medal

General Thura Tin Oo (born March 3Fact|date=November 2007, 1927 in Pathein), (often referred to as U Tin Oo) is a retired general, former commander in chief of the armed forces of Union of Myanmar, highly decorated soldier, pro-democracy activist and deputy leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar.

Military career

DSHMRI Archives] Tin Oo joined the army on 26 February, 1946 as a Second Lieutenant in Burma Rifle Battalion. He reached the ranks of Lieutenant on 7 January, 1947, Captain on 27 September, 1948 and served as executive officer at Armed Forces Training Headquarters. On 22 June, 1949, he was transferred to No.1 Burma Rifle Battalion as Company Commander. He was promoted to the rank of Major on 25 January, 1950 and became Deputy Battalion Commander (2IC) of No.1 Burma Rifle Battalion and took over the position of acting Battalion Commander on 27 November, 1951.

Tin Oo was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 21 January, 1954 and became Commander of 4th Infantry Brigade on 30 May, 1957. He was then transferred to Army Officer Training School as Commandant on 13 September, 1957. Throughout 1958 and 1961, Lieutenant Colonel Tin Oo served as Battalion Commander for No.14 Infantry Battalion (from 18 November, 1958), No.2 Burma Rifle Battalion (from 16 February, 1961) and after his promotion as Colonel, he became acting Commander for No.13 Infantry Brigade (from 20 February, 1961).

He was then given the command of South West Regional Military Command and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on 14 February, 1963. On 19 September, 1964 he became Commander of Central Regional Military Command. He was then promoted to the rank of Major General and became Deputy Chief of Staff (Army) on 20 April, 1972. On 8 March, 1974 he was promoted to the rank of General and became Commander in Chief of Tatmadaw. During his military career, General Tin Oo was awarded with Thuya medal, prestigious award for gallantry and bravery in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to members of Myanmar Armed Forces. He is an exceptional General and a career soldier, who was highly respected and loved by his men, both officers and enlisted men, and also by the people.

Forced retirement, accusations and imprisonment

On the 6 March, 1976, As per Order no. 26/76 issued by the Council of State, Tin Oo was forced to retired from his position as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Burma. According to the official explanations released by the then ruling party, Burmese Socialist Programme Party, the forced retirement was due to Dr. Daw Tin Moe Wei, the wife of General Tin Oo, broke the rules and regulations laid down for the spouse of commanding officers of the Tatmadaw by accepting numerous bribes, thus affecting General Tin Oo's position as Commander in Chief and therefore he was forced to step down. However, many observers speculated that the real reason behind the force retirement was Tin Oo's popularity among the rank and files of the armed forces and general public.

After his forced retirement, he was accused of high treasons against the armed forces (Tatmadaw), the party (BSPP) and the state. He was subsequently arrested and tried for the alleged withholding of information concerning a failed coup against Ne Win and the Council of State. On 11 January, 1977, Judge U Ohn Maung, Chairman of Divisional Justice Committee for Yangon Division sentenced him to 7 years hard labour and imprsionment according to Crime against state and high treasons act 124. Tin Oo's subsequent appeal for this judgement on 20 August, 1977 was summarily dismissed by Judge U Soe Hlaing, Chairman of Central Justice Committee and upheld the judgement handed out by Yangon Division Justice Committee. When Tin Oo was arrested in 1976, students took to the streets shouting "Long Live Tin Oo" in demonstrations against Ne Win and BSPP Government. [http://www.irrawaddy.org/database/2003/vol11.1/c-sorting.html]

Political career

He was released under general amnesty in 1980, after which he studied and received a degree in Law. On 2 September, 1988, he became the Vice Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and on December 20, the Chairman of NLD. From 20 July, 1989 he was put under house arrest and from 22 December, 1989, he was imprisoned for three years.

On 30 May 2003, Tin Oo, travelling with the caravan of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NLD, was attacked in the northern village of Depayin by a government-sponsored mob, murdering and wounding many of her supporters. [cite web |url=http://www.aseanmp.org/resources/Depayin%20Massacre.pdf |title=The Depayin Massacre 2 Years On, Justice Denied |accessdate=2007-02-04 |date=2005-05-30 |format=PDF |publisher=ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus ] Tin Oo was taken into detention along with Aung San Suu Kyi and was initially held in prison in Kalay in northwestern Myanmar. In February 2004 he was brought back to his home in Yangon, where he is held under house arrest. [cite web |url=http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/feb/15/yehey/world/20060215wor4.html |title=Myanmar extends Suu Kyi’s detention |accessdate=2007-02-14 |date=2006-02-15 |publisher=AFP/The Manila Times ] The junta extended his detention by one year on February 2007. [http://www.irrawaddy.org/aviewer.asp?a=6687&z=163]


ee also

*National League for Democracy
*Military of Myanmar
*Myanmar Army

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