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SPDC WHO'S WHO > MYINT SWE
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.

 
MILITARY CAREER

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

PERSONAL DATA

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.

Crackdown on information

In early 2006, Myint Swe launched a campaign to track down citizens in Burma who were feeding the international media with information with targets that ranged from businessmen and civil servants to local journalists.

Saffron Revolution

In October 2007, the New Light of Myanmar reported an apparent gesture of reconciliation following the Saffron Revolution. Myint Swe distributed about US$8,000 dollars in cash and large amounts of rice, cooking oil, toothpaste and medicine to 50 monasteries and a nunnery in Northern Rangoon. The paper said the donations were made on behalf of military members and their families.

Constitutional Referendum

On 9 April 2008, Lt. Gen Myint Swe described to a meeting of some 600 people, which included senior government officials, the junta’s plans for rigging the May 2008 constitutional referendum. Plans included announcing only final results in one announcement from the new capital, Naypidaw, rather than local tallies.

Cyclone Nargis

SPDC distributed aid to cyclone survivors but first plastered the boxes with the names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the cyclone relief effort into a propaganda exercise. State-run television continuously runs images of top generals handing out boxes of aid to survivors at elaborate ceremonies. One box bore the name of Myint Swe in bold letters that overshadowed a smaller label reading: "Aid from the Kingdom of Thailand."

On 14 May 2008, in the New Light of Myanmar, photographs depicted survivors giving the two-handed sign of respect, usually reserved for the Buddha, to Myint Swe as he inspected a relief camp in Hlaingthayar Township in Rangoon.