Than Shwe

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Than Shwe

(thän shwā), 1933–, Burmese soldier and military dictator of Myanmar. He joined the army in 1953, attended training school, and became a commissioned officer. In 1963 he was named an instructor in the ideological training school operated by the Burmese Socialist Program party, the nation's only political party. Rising in the army ranks, he became (1980) commander of an infantry division and (1983) head of a regional command. Promoted (1985) to major general, he was an important figure in the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC; since 1997 the State Peace and Development Council, SPDC), the umbrella organization of the military junta that seized control of the government after the resignation (1988) of Ne WinNe Win, U
, 1911–2002, Burmese soldier and political leader. He abandoned his original name, Shu Maung, in 1941 when he joined a Japanese-supported nationalist military group. Becoming commander of the Burmese Independence Army in 1943, he later turned against the Japanese.
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. Than Shwe was promoted to full general in 1990, and in 1992 he became chairman of SLORC (and thus leader of the ruling junta) and prime minister. After coming to power, he released a number of political prisoners and instituted several reforms, but none led to a more democratic government, and repression continued. He stepped down as prime minister in 2003 but continued as SPDC chairman and armed forces commander until Thein SeinThein Sein
, 1945–, Burmese general and political leader. A graduate of the Defense Services Academy, he commanded an infantry battalion and later served under strongman Than Shwe when he was military commander-in-chief.
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's government took office in 2011. Than Shwe was nonetheless believed to remain very influential, reportedly as head of the extraconstitutional State Supreme Council.
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References in periodicals archive ?
General Than Shwe, the strongman leader of the junta for nearly two decades, has more to worry about than most.
In 1992, the Chairman of the SLORC, Senior General Saw Manng, was forced to retire after suffering a nervous breakdown and his Vice-Chairman, Senior General Than Shwe, took over as leader of the government.
In 2009, Tin Aung Myint Oo was appointed military advisor to Senior General Than Shwe, then SPDC chairman.
Senior General Than Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, was not named president.
Thein Sein is an ally of Top General Than Shwe. His Vice-Presidents will be Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham.
The charismatic leader of Myanmar s fight against military dictatorship remained in her crumbling lakeside home, despite rumours paramount leader Senior General Than Shwe had approved an order to free his arch enemy from seven years of house arrest.
She said her message to junta leader General Than Shwe was: "Let's speak to each other."
For all practical purposes, therefore, she was elected the Prime Minister of Burma in 1990, but had been in detention since then in a country run by a gang of military dictators led by General Than Shwe, his deputy General Maung Aye and Prime Minister General Thein Sein.
Reports quoted government insiders, state officials and well-connected sources as saying Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar's military ruler, had signed an order for her release.
Closely aligned with supreme leader Senior General Than Shwe, it is top-heavy with recently retired generals.
There were conflicting reports about whether the top two junta leaders - Senior General Than Shwe and his second-in-command, General Maung Aye - also stepped down from the military while retaining their respective posts as the junta's chairman and vice chairman.
India emphasized the importance of comprehensively broad-basing the national reconciliation process and democratic changes being introduced in Myanmar, said a joint statement at the end of wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Myanmar s military ruler General Than Shwe. There was, however, no mention in the joint statement of the iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under custody, and has boycotted the elections likely later this year.

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