Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, who ranked No 4 in the junta, voluntarily resigned from the Burmese armed forces in recent weeks, according to sources.
The general’s unexpected resignation has not appeared in state-run media. He reportedly said that he no longer wanted to be involved in politics and serve in the army.
|Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo salutes during celebrations of the country's Independence Day, in Naypyidaw, early on January 4, 2009. (Photo: Getty Images)|
Tin Aung Myint Oo, who was the quartermaster-general of the armed forces, retired quietly. He still holds his Secretary 1 position in the State Peace and Development Council, the ruling body that governs the nation.
Lt-Gen Myint Swe, the commander of the Bureau of Special Operation 5, was named quartermaster-general. Myint Swe is a protégé of Snr-Gen Than Shwe, the SPDC chairman and commander in chief of the armed forces.
Tin Aung Myint Oo became a four-star general in March 2009 and was known to be a military hardliner.
Businessmen who are close to the top military leaders said that there was no question of the battle-hardened general’s loyalty to Than Shwe.
However, there has been speculation that a recent spat between Than Shwe’s grandson and Tin Aung Myint Oo’s son might have trigger Tin Aung Myint Oo’s resignation.
A few months ago, according to a story impossible to confirm, Capt Naing Lin Oo, the son of Tin Aung Myint Oo, crossed swords with Nay Shwe Thway Aung, the favorite grandson of Than Shwe, over the location of the Seven Corners café in Rangoon, owned by Naing Lin Oo.
The café was demolished by government municipal officials because it occupied government-owned land. The information that led to the demolishing of the café was believed to have come from Nay Shwe Thway Aung, who reportedly had personal problems with Naing Lin Oo.
It’s said that the dispute between the two powerful children eventually reached Than Shwe, who reportedly called Tin Aung Myint Oo to find out what was going on.
Realizing that trouble might lie ahead, Tin Aung Myint Oo reportedly dispatched a senior army officer to get his son to sign a paper admitting that he had broke the law by opening the café, sources said.
Naing Lin Oo reportedly refused to sign the paper, but the army officer convinced him with one sentence: “Your dad sent me over here for you to sign this paper. Sign it now.”
Tin Aung Myint Oo, who is now in his 60s, won the Thiha Thura medal in combat against Communist rebels in the 1980s. He led successful operations against Communist insurgents in Eastern Shan State in September 1988, which led to a cease-fire agreement in 1989.
He served as commanding officer of No 111 Light Infantry Battalion in Sagaing Division in 1990; commander of the Tactical Operation Command under the Northern Military Command in 1992; in 1994, he was a brigadier general with the Military Operation Command based in Kyaukme Township in Northern Shan State. He became commander of the Northeast Military Region in Lashio in 1997. He replaced Thein Sein as secretary-1 when he was promoted to prime minister in 2007.
Tin Aung Myint Oo recently traveled to China to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss the issue of ethnic rebels along the Sino-Burma border.