Min Aung Hlaing

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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 63)
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
CommandsCommander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw
Joint Chief of Staff
Chief of Bureau of Special Operations-2 (BSO-2)

Min Aung Hlaing (Burmese: မင်းအောင်လှိုင်; born 3 July 1956) is a senior general in the Myanmar Army and the current Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces. He assumed the post on 30 March 2011. He is also a member of the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) chaired by the President of Myanmar.[1]

He was previously Joint Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Defence of Myanmar, and was promoted to four-star General in the early 2011 and five-star General in March 2013.

Early life and career[edit]

Min Aung Hlaing born on 3 July 1956 in Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, Burma (Myanmar). His father is Thaung Hlaing, a civil engineer, who worked at the Ministry of Construction.[2]

Min Aung Hlaing passed his matriculation exam in 1972 at BEHS 1 Latha of Rangoon (Yangon).[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:

  • 1972 March – Rangoon Arts and Science University (Law)
  • 1974—University Training Corps (1971–1974: sergeant)
  • 1974 January – Defence Services Academy
  • 1977 December—Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Burmese Army

Following graduation, Min Aung Hlaing went on to command positions in Mon State and in 2002, he was promoted to commander of the Triangle Region Command in Eastern Shan State 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 rank[edit]

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

Command appointments[edit]

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 Irrawaddy News, 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]

Facebook banned Min Aung Hlaing from its platform along with 19 other top Burmese officials and organisations to prevent further heated ethnic and religious tensions in Myanmar. This action followed a UN investigation's report that certain military leaders in Myanmar be investigated and prosecuted for genocide over a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.[11][12]

Awards and decorations[edit]

  • Order of the White Elephant - 1st Class (Thailand) ribbon.svg The Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, Knight Grand Cross (1st Class), Thailand[13]
  • Order of the Crown of Thailand - 1st Class (Thailand) ribbon.svg The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, Knight Grand Cross (1st Class), Thailand[14]
  • Darjah Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera.png The Most Gallant Order of Military Service, Gallant Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces (Darjah Panglima Gagah Angkatan Tentera), Honorary Malaysian Armed Forces Order for Valor (1st Degree), Malaysia


  1. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008)" (PDF). www.burmalibrary.org. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  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.
  13. ^ "Thailand decorates Myanmar's army chief amid Rohingya crisis". Reuters. 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  14. ^ "Burmese Military Chief Receives Top Thai Honor". The Irrawaddy. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2019-06-01.