Min Aung Hlaing
Min Aung Hlaing (July 3rd, 1956 - ) is a senior general in the Myanmar Army who is currently the State Leader of Myanmar following a military coup in 2021. 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, modernization, and improving health and education in Myanmar.
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.
He passed his matriculation exam at 1972 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. He was reportedly shunned by classmates because of his reserved personality.
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).
Rise to power
He led an offensive against the insurgent Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army in Kokang and replaced General Shwe Mann as Joint Chief of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. On 30 March 2011, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, replacing the dictator Senior General Than Shwe, who had been Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council.
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. In particular, he has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people.
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.
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.
In early 2021, Hlaing declared the 2020 election results fraudulent and launched a military coup against then-leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She, along with many other civilian leaders, was arrested. The army then installed him as leader of Myanmar (though he was believed by some to have already been de facto leader of the country), after which the State Administration Council was formed to govern the country. Because of this, it is believed that he intends to revert the country to a military dictatorship. In response to the coup, many Myanmarese citizens organized protests demanding the release of those arrested and the reinstatement of the civilian government. With Min Aung Hlaing's authorization, the military and police have used force, including live rounds, to crack down on these protests, resulting in at least 200 deaths.
- He is banned from entering the United States due to his human rights abuses. It is also a crime for a citizen of the US to do financial transactions with him.