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Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (Burmese: မင်းအောင်လှိုင်; born 3 July 1956) is a senior general in the Myanmar Army who is currently the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, appointed in 2011. As commander-in-chief he is responsible for human rights violations by the Myanmar Army that could amount to genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. According to Burma Campaign UK, he is an obstacle to improving human rights, democratic reform, peace, modernisation, and improving health and education in Myanmar.[1]

Min Aung Hlaing
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing 2017 (cropped).jpg
Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of Myanmar
Assumed office
30 March 2011
PresidentThein Sein
Htin Kyaw
Win Myint
State CounsellorAung San Suu Kyi
DeputySoe Win
Preceded byThan Shwe
Personal details
Born (1956-07-03) 3 July 1956 (age 62)
Tavoy, Burma
(now Dawei)
Spouse(s)Kyu Kyu Hla
Alma materRangoon Arts and Sciences University (LL.B)
Defence Services Academy
AwardsMaha Thray Sithu
Honorary Malaysian Armed Forces Order for Valour (First Degree)
Gallant Commander of Malaysian Armed Forces
Knight Grand Cross First Class of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant of Thailand
Military service
Allegiance Myanmar
Branch/service Myanmar Army
Years of service1974–present
RankSenior General.gif Senior General


Early life and careerEdit

Min Aung Hlaing born on 3 July 1956 in Tavoy, Tenasserim Division. Min Aung Hlaing passed matriculation class in 1972 at BEHS 1 Latha.[2][3] He attended and studied law at the Rangoon Arts and Science University from 1972 to 1973 before he joined the Defense Services Academy in the 19th Intake 1974 on his third attempt.[4] He was reportedly shunned by classmates because of his reserved personality. Key dates are as follows:

Thaung Hlaing is the name of Min Aung Hlaing's father, Thaung Hlaing, a civil engineer, who worked at the Ministry of Construction.[2] Following graduation, Min Aung Hlaing went on to command positions in Mon State and in 2002, he was promoted to commander of the Triangle Regional Command and was a central figure in negotiations with two rebel groups, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA).[2]

Military rankEdit

  •   Major General – 2008/2009
  •   Lieutenant General – Late 2009
  •   General – Early 2011
  •   Vice-Senior General – April 2012
  •   Senior General – March 2013

Command appointmentsEdit

He rose to prominence in 2009 after leading an offensive against the insurgent Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army in Kokang.[5]

In June 2010, Min Aung Hlaing replaced General Shwe Mann as Joint Chief of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.[2] On 30 March 2011 he became the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, replacing the outgoing head of state and junta chief, Senior General Than Shwe.[6]

In November 2011, according to the online newsmagazine The Irrawaddy, it was "widely believed" that following Min Aung Hlaing's meetings with Chinese military officials that month and his leadership in creating a bilateral agreement on defense cooperation with the Chinese, he had also held talks with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping regarding cooperation from China with respect to the Kachin Conflict.[5]

On March 27, 2012, during a speech in Naypyidaw, Min Aung Hlaing defended the military's continued role in national politics.[5][7]

On April 3, 2012, the Government of Myanmar announced that Min Aung Hlaing had been promoted to vice-senior general, the second highest rank in the Armed Forces of Myanmar.[5] He was promoted to senior general in March 2013.


The UNHRC reported that Min Aung Hlaing's soldiers have been deliberately targeting civilians in Northern states of Myanmar and have been doing "systemic discrimination” and human rights violations against minority communities in Rakhine State.[8] In particular, he has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people.[9] These human rights violations could amount to genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.[10]

Banned FacebookEdit

Facebook banned military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing from Facebook along with 19 other top Burmese officials and organisations, including the office of the Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar and the Myawaddy television network, on 27 August 2018. (Facebook deleted an additional 46 pages and banned 12 other supposedly independent accounts with similar viewpoints.) This action followed a UN investigation's recommendation that certain military leaders in Myanmar be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes directed at Rohingya Muslims.[11][12]


  1. ^ Farmaner, Mark (2017-04-13). "It's Time To Talk About Min Aung Hlaing". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Vice-Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief". Alternative Asean Network. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  3. ^ မင်းအောင်လှိုင်, ဗိုလ်ချုပ်မှူးကြီး (2 April 2011). "တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်သစ်နှင့် အမေရိကန် မြန်မာ တပ်မတော်နှစ်ရပ် ဆက်ဆံရေး - အပိုင်း (၁)". VOA news Burmese.
  4. ^ Barron, Laignee (2017-11-03). "Meet Min Aung Hlaing, the Chief of Myanmar's Notorious Military". Time. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d David Paquette, "Min Aung Hlaing Appointed Vice-Senior General", The Irrawaddy, April 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "New commander in chief of defence services: General Min Aung Hlaing", Mizzima, March 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Aye Aye Win, "Myanmar general defends military's political role", Associated Press, March 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Section, United Nations News Service (2016-06-20). "UN News - Myanmar must address 'serious' human rights violations against minorities – UN rights chief". UN News Service Section. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  9. ^ Farmaner, Mark (13 September 2017). "Only One Person Can Stop Ethnic Cleansing In Myanmar, And It Isn't Aung San Suu Kyi". Huffington Post.
  10. ^ "Burma's Military Milestone". Human Rights Watch. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Facebook bans Myanmar army chief over rights abuses". The Times of India. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Facebook bans Myanmar Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing, 19 others over rights abuses". News Nation. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.