Tin Oo

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Tin Oo
Tin Oo in 2012
President of the
National League for Democracy
In office
3 December 1988 – 21 December 1990
LeaderAung San Suu Kyi
Preceded byAung Gyi
Succeeded byAung Shwe
Minister of Defence
In office
8 March 1974 – 6 March 1977
Prime MinisterSein Win
Preceded bySan Yu
Succeeded byKyaw Htin
Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
In office
8 March 1974 – 6 March 1976
Preceded bySan Yu
Succeeded byKyaw Htin
Personal details
Born(1927-03-11)11 March 1927
Bassein, Irrawaddy Division, Burma Province, British India
Died1 June 2024(2024-06-01) (aged 97)
Yangon, Myanmar
Political partyNational League for Democracy
SpouseTin Moe Wai
ChildrenThant Zin Oo
Alma materOfficers Training School, Bahtoo
Military service
Allegiance Myanmar
Branch/service Burmese Army
Years of service1945–1976
Commands Officer Commanding of No. (13) Infantry Brigade (1959)
General Officer Commanding of South West Regional Military Command(1962)
General Officer Commanding of Central Regional Military Command (1964)
Deputy Chief of Staff (1972)
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services(1974)
AwardsThuya Medal

Tin Oo (Burmese: တင်ဦး, IPA: [tɪ̀ɰ̃ ʔú]; 11 March 1927 – 1 June 2024), often referred to as U Tin Oo, was a Burmese politician, activist, and general in the Armed Forces who was one of the founders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar, the country's largest pro-democracy political party.

Military career


Tin Oo joined the military on 26 February 1946 as a second lieutenant in Burma Rifles Battalion. He reached the ranks of lieutenant on 7 January 1947, captain on 27 September 1948 and served as executive officer at Armed Forces Training Headquarters. On 22 June 1949, he was transferred to No. 1 Burma Rifles Battalion as company commander. He was promoted to the rank of major on 25 January 1950 and became deputy battalion commander (2IC) of the No. 1 Burma Rifles Battalion and took over the position of acting battalion commander on 27 November 1952.

Tin Oo was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 21 January 1954 and became commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade on 30 May 1957. He was then transferred to Officers Training School, Bahtoo as commandant on 13 September 1957. Throughout 1958 and 1961, he served as the battalion commander for the No. 14 Infantry Battalion (starting 18 November 1959) and No. 2 Burma Rifle Battalion (from 16 February 1962) and after his promotion as colonel, he became acting commander for the No. 13 Infantry Brigade (from 20 February 1962).[contradictory]

Tin Oo was then given the command of South West Regional Military Command and promoted to the rank of colonel on 14 February 1964.[contradictory] On 19 September 1964, he became commander of Central Regional Military Command. He was then promoted to the rank of brigadier general and became deputy chief of staff of the Tatmadaw on 20 April 1972. On 8 March 1974 he was promoted to the rank of general and became commander in chief of the Tatmadaw. He was armed forces commander in chief during the bloody crackdown on student protests surrounding the funeral of former UN Secretary-General U Thant.

During his military career, Tin Oo was awarded the Thura medal, a prestigious award for gallantry and bravery in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to members of the Myanmar Armed Forces. He led both tactical and strategic campaigns against the Karen National Union as well as the Communist Party of Burma and various ethnic armed groups, especially in the north and east of the country.[citation needed]

Forced retirement, accusations and imprisonment


On 6 March 1976, as per Order no. 26/76 issued by the Council of State, Tin Oo was forced to retire from his position as Commander in Chief of the Tatmadaw. According to the official explanation released by the then ruling party, the Burma Socialist Programme Party, he was forced to retire because Dr. Daw Tin Moe Wai, his wife, broke the rules and regulations laid down for the spouses of commanding officers of the Tatmadaw by accepting numerous bribes, thus affecting General Tin Oo's position.

After his forced retirement, he was accused of high treason against the armed forces, the party (BSPP) and the state. He was subsequently arrested and tried for the alleged withholding of information concerning a failed coup-d'état against General Ne Win and the Council of State. On 11 January 1977, Judge U Ohn Maung, Chairman of the Divisional Justice Committee for the Yangon Division sentenced him to 7 years of hard labour and imprisonment according to the Crime Against State and High Treasons Act 124. Tin Oo's subsequent appeal of this judgement on 20 August 1977 was summarily dismissed by Judge Soe Hlaing of the Council of People's Justice, the equivalent of a Supreme Court, and upheld the judgement handed out by Yangon Division Justice Committee. Colonel Hla Pe, commander of Northern Regional Command, Colonel Maung Maung, Colonel General Staff[clarification needed] and Colonel Myo Aung, commandant of the National Defence College were also dismissed and the former two were imprisoned along with General Tin Oo.[citation needed]

Political career


Tin Oo was released under general amnesty in 1980, after which he studied and received a degree in law. On 2 September 1988, he became the vice president of the National League for Democracy (NLD), and on 20 December, the President of NLD. On 20 July 1989, he was put under house arrest and starting on 22 December 1989, he was imprisoned for three years.

On 30 May 2003, Tin Oo, travelling with the caravan of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NLD, was attacked in the northern village of Depayin by a government-sponsored mob, murdering and wounding many of his supporters.[1] Tin Oo was taken into detention along with Aung San Suu Kyi and was initially held in prison in Kalay in northwestern Myanmar. In February 2004 he was brought back to his home in Yangon, where he was actually held under house arrest.[2] The junta extended his detention by one year in February 2007,[3] 2008, and 2009. The last of these extensions was in violation of Burmese law at the time, but no explanation was given by the junta.[4] He was released from house arrest on 13 February 2010.[5]

After restrictions on the NLD were lifted in 2010, Tin Oo continued to work in the party and participated in campaigning for the 2015 Myanmar general election, which the NLD won by the landslide. He was floated as a possible candidate for the presidency but declined, saying that he preferred to help Aung San Suu Kyi "as much as I can". Following the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état, Tin Oo remained in his residence in Yangon, where he was visited by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, and later a pro-junta Buddhist monk who suggested that Aung San Suu Kyi retire from politics. The latter incident led to his family announcing a ban on visitors.[6]



Tin Oo died in Yangon on 1 June 2024, at the age of 97. He had been hospitalised since 29 May with pneumonia.[7][8][6] Over 1000 people escorted his funeral [9]

See also



  1. ^ "The Depayin Massacre 2 Years On, Justice Denied" (PDF). ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus. 30 May 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  2. ^ "Myanmar extends Suu Kyi's detention". AFP/The Manila Times. 15 February 2006. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  3. ^ Irrawaddy.org[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Thaindian.com". Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Burma frees NLD leader Tin Oo". BBC News. 13 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Tin Oo, a close ally of Myanmar's Suu Kyi and co-founder of her pro-democracy party, dies at 97". Associated Press. 1 June 2024. Retrieved 1 June 2024.
  7. ^ "NLD Patron and Former Myanmar Army Chief U Tin Oo Dies". The Irrawaddy.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "NLD နာယက၊ တပ်မတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးဦးစီးချုပ်ဟောင်း သူရဦးတင်ဦး ကွယ်လွန်". Khit Thit Media.
  9. ^ RFA လွတ်လပ်တဲ့အာရှအသံ (5 June 2024). သူရဦးတင်ဦးရဲ့ နောက်ဆုံးခရီးကို သံတမန်တွေနဲ့အတူ လူတစ်ထောင်ကျော် လိုက်ပါပို့ဆောင်. Retrieved 7 June 2024 – via YouTube.
Military offices
Preceded by Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chairperson of the National League for Democracy
Succeeded by