Soe Win

Soe Win

Infobox Prime Minister
name = Soe Win

order = 10th Prime Minister of Burma
term_start = October 19 2004
term_end = October 12 2007
deputy =
predecessor = Khin Nyunt
successor = Thein Sein
birth_date = 1948
birth_place = Taunggyi, Myanmar
death_date = October 12 2007
death_place = Yangon
religion = Buddhist
spouse = Than Than Nwe
party =Appointed by State Peace and Development Council
General Soe Win ( _my. စိုးဝင်း; IPA2|sóu wín; 1948 – October 12 2007) was the Prime Minister of Burma and Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council from 2004 to 2007.

He was known by Burmese dissident groups as "the butcher of Depayin" for his role as mastermind of the 2003 Depayin Massacre, in which 70 National League for Democracy supporters were killed by a government-sponsored mob. [ "Premeditated Depayin Massacre"] , retrieved 2007-05-20.]


Early career

Soe Win was born in 1948.cite web|url= |title=Soe Win|date=2008|work=Encyclopædia Britannica|accessdate=2008-08-26] A graduate of the Defense Services Academy (12th intake), he took part in the crackdown on democracy protesters in 1988, deploying troops around Rangoon University and ordering them to shoot at Rangoon General Hospital during the upheaval. He became Tactical Operations Commander 3 of the Northwestern Regional Command in 1990.

In 1997 he was named Regional Commander and a member of the junta, then called the State Law and Order Restoration Council, or SLORC. In November 2001 he was named Air Defense General of the War Office.

In February 2003 he was promoted to Secretary-2 of the junta, which was vacant after Lieutenant General Tin Oo was killed in a helicopter crash two years before.

Soe Win is widely regarded as the mastermind behind the deadly attack against National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters in the May 30 2003 Depayin Massacre.Fact|date=October 2007

The same year he accompanied Senior General Than Shwe on state visits to Vietnam and China. Soe Win also signed the order to dismiss Foreign Minister Win Aung and his deputy in September 2003.

A devout Buddhist, Soe Win upped the persecution against the predominantly Christian Chin when he was the Northwestern Regional Commander in Chin State.Fact|date=October 2007

Rise to prime minister

Soe Win was appointed prime minister by State Peace and Development Council chairman Than Shwe on October 19 2004. Soe Win succeeded Khin Nyunt, who officially had been "permitted to retire for health reasons", but the reformist-minded premier had actually fallen out of favor with Than Shwe. [ Khin Nyunt's fall from grace] , BBC, retrieved 2007-10-03] [ [ Myanmar names Soe Win as PM] , CNN, retrieved 2007-10-04] Khin Nyunt was later convicted by a special tribunal of corruption charges and sentenced to 44 years in prison.

As Secretary-1 in the SPDC and prime minister, Soe Win was third in the leadership structure under Senior General Than Shwe and SPDC vice-chairman, Vice-Senior General Maung Aye. A senior member of the SPDC, Soe Win was close to Than Shwe, and the two men saw eye-to-eye on “nation building projects”, which included constructing dams, roads and bridges.

With his appointment as prime minister, he took a tougher line against political reform than did his immediate predecessor, Khin Nyunt. He was quoted as saying in January 2003 "the SPDC not only won’t talk to the NLD but also would never hand over power to the NLD."

Health issues, death

In March 2007, Soe Win was admitted to a private hospital in Singapore. The government was secretive about the nature of his illness, though it was reported in the media that he was suffering from leukemia. He returned to Burma on May 3, 2007, but then returned to Singapore later that month. The Burmese embassy in Singapore said he was being treated for a "serious health matter".

In April 2007, [ [ Countries Me-My ] ] Lieutenant General Thein Sein was appointed acting prime minister in Soe Win's absence. [ Burmese junta choose stand-in PM] , BBC, retrieved 2007-05-20.] [ Burmese Junta Tips New Prime Minister] , retrieved 2007-05-20.]

On October 1 2007, in the wake of the anti-government protests, Soe Win returned to Burma. His condition was reported as "very ill" and he was admitted to a military hospital in Mingalardon Township, Rangoon. [ Burma’s Prime Minister in Rangoon Hospital, ‘Very Ill’] , The Irrawaddy, retrieved 2007-10-03]

Mizzima News reported that Soe Win died at around 5:00 p.m. local time on October 2 2007. [ Burmese Prime Minister passes away] , Mizzima News, retrieved 2007-10-03] The report was carried by various other news outlets without independent verification. [ Ailing Burmese Prime Minister dies] , "The Nation (Thailand)", retrieved 2007-10-03] [ Burmese premier Soe Win, “the butcher of Depayin”, dies] , Asia News, retrieved 2007-10-04] [ Breaking News: Myanmarese Prime Minister dead] , Meri News, retrieved 2007-10-04]

Other sources, however, reported that Soe Win's death was a rumour only, and that he was still alive in the Intensive Care Unit at Mingalardon Hospital. [ Burma PM enters intensive care unit] , "The Nation (Thailand)", retrieved 2007-10-04] [ Myanmar PM enters intensive care -- report] , "Inquirer (Philippines)", retrieved 2007-10-04.] [ [ Secret cremations hide Burma killings] , "The Independent", retrieved 2007-10-09]

On October 5, 2007, Mizzima News issued a correction to their report, quoting a family source who said: "He is still in the Mingalardon hospital. But doctors said his condition is critical." [ [ Mizzima News Correction apologizes ONLY to readers] ,, retrieved 2007-10-09]

Soe Win's death was officially announced by the military authorities on October 12. He died in Mingalardon Hospital, aged 59, from leukemia. [ [ Burma prime minister Soe Win dies] , BBC, retrieved 2007-10-12] [ [ Burmese Premier Soe Win dies] , Mizzima News, retrieved 2007-10-12] His twin brother Major-General Tin Htun had died on September 19, 2007 of leukemia. [cite news|title=Burma Prime Minister Soe Win dies after long illness |url=|publisher=USA Today |date=2007-10-13 |accessdate=2007-10-16 ] [cite news|title=After long illness PM passes away |url=|publisher=The Myanmar Times |date=2007-10-15 |accessdate=2007-10-16 ]

Career timeline

*Commanding Officer No.12 Light Infantry Regiment (1990)
*G.S.O (1), Central Command (1993)
*Commander, No. 66 Light Infantry Division (1996)
*Commander, North West Command (1997) and Chairman of Sagaing Division, State Law and Order Restoration Council
*Chief of Air Defense Forces (November 2001) and Member of State Peace and Development Council
*Secretary-2, State Peace and Development Council (February 2003)
*Secretary-1, State Peace and Development Council (August 2003)
*Prime Minister of Myanmar (October 19 2004)

Decorations and Medals

*Naingngandaw Sit Hmu Htan Tazeit
*Pylthusit Taik Pwe Win Tazeit
*Naingngandaw Aye Chan Thar Yar Ye Tazeit
*Mong Yang Methawaw Taik Pwe Tazeit
*Tatmadaw Gone Saung Ahmu Htan Tazeit (First Grade)
*Tatmadaw Gone Saung Ahmu Htan Tazeit (Second Grade)
*Tatmadaw Gone Saung Ahmu Htan Tazeit (Third Grade)
*Sit Hmu Htan Thet Tazeit
*Naingngan Akyo Saung Tazeit
*Sit Pwe Tazeit (1974-1988)
*Sit Pwe Tazeit (1988-1990)
*Sitmuhtanguang Tazeit
*Tatmadaw Shweyatu Tazeit


External links

* [ Obituary in "The Times", 15 October 2007]

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