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2021/137 “An Attempt to Lead Myanmar Back to the Future? Data on the State Administration Council Regime’s Union Ministers” by Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing announcing the “caretaker government” name change and pledging to hold elections by 2023, in a televised speech on 1 August 2021. (screen capture of televised speech courtesy of Mizzima TV). Source: YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjC6j5UeYaU

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                     

  • Constituted as a “provisional” government on 1 August, 28 Union ministers, holding a total of 29 portfolios, now serve Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) regime.
  • Observers believe that the SAC’s ministerial appointments reflect an aspiration to achieve performance legitimacy for the regime that seized power in the 1 February coup.
  • Five Union ministers are active-duty military officers, while 13 others have military backgrounds. Eight held senior posts under the 2011-2016 Union Solidarity and Development Party government, and six under the 2016-2021 National League for Democracy government.
  • While two Union ministers are politicians, data on the backgrounds of the remaining 26 offer what amounts to a time-lapse photograph of Myanmar’s high-level government bureaucracy in recent decades, and thus make it possible to take stock of the human resources with which the SAC regime would administer the country.
  • Unlike the civilian membership of the SAC, the junta’s roster of ministers appears intended to serve functional rather than political purposes.
  • Scrutiny of the division of labour between the SAC junta and its Union ministers is vital to understanding the path on which Myanmar and its economy have embarked since the 1 February coup.

*Htet Myet Min Tun is an intern in, Moe Thuzar Co-Coordinator of, and Michael Montesano Coordinator of the Myanmar Studies Programme of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

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INTRODUCTION

Seizing state power on 1 February, Myanmar’s armed forces or Tatmadaw detained not only President U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi but also Union ministers in the National League for Democracy (NLD) government.[1] Coup leader and Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing swiftly replaced that government by signing an order appointing 11 Union ministers – three active-duty military officers and eight civilians.[2] These ministerial appointments thus predated the formation of the State Administration Council (SAC) junta itself, which occurred the day after the coup.[3] The newly appointed ministers were to serve under the nominal leadership of Acting President U Myint Swe — a retired lieutenant general who had been one of Myanmar’s two vice presidents during the period of NLD government in 2016-2020.[4]

The active-duty Tatmadaw officers among Min Aung Hlaing’s initial ministerial appointees hold the three portfolios that Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution allocates to the military: home affairs, defence, and border affairs.[5] Seven of the other initial appointees have military backgrounds, and only one a purely civilian background. The latter individual is Dr Thet Khaing Win, who heads the Ministry of Health.   He served as permanent secretary in what was at the time the Ministry of Health and Sports under the ousted government.[6]

In the days, weeks and months following the coup, the SAC appointed additional Union ministers. These appointees were in the main civilians, some with military backgrounds.[7] The most recent ministerial appointment came on 30 August, with the reorganization of the Union Attorney-General’s Office into the new Ministry of Legal Affairs.[8]

The 2008 Constitution enshrines Myanmar’s “Union Government” — effectively, the country’s cabinet — as the state’s highest executive body.[9] However, the existence of the State Administration Council leaves the role of Union ministers in decision-making, and the extent of their authority, unclear. The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)/State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)[10] — the junta composed entirely of military officers that ruled Myanmar from 1988 to 2011 — superseded Union ministers’ decision-making power. Prior to 1 August, the SAC appeared to follow that precedent, installing ministers with more of an implementational than executive role.

On that date six months after its coup, the SAC announced the formation of a “provisional government”, along with plans for elections in two years.[11] Additions to the roster of Union ministers, including the appointment of junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as prime minister, accompanied this announcement. Some observers in Yangon believe that the mission of this newly launched government and its ministers is to bring the SAC regime performance legitimacy.[12] Whatever the case, the 1 August announcement suggested the Tatmadaw’s determination both to give the SAC regime a more civilian image and to normalize its administration of the country.[13]

At the time of writing, 28 ministers hold 29 portfolios in the so-called “provisional government”. The SAC has retained some ministries from the 2016-2021 NLD era while also reviving some from the 1988-2011 SLORC/SPDC and 2011-2016 Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) eras.[14]

Table 1. Union Ministers Appointed after the 1 February Coup, and Their Portfolios, in Order of Date of Appointment.

PortfolioRomanized NameName in BurmeseDate of AppointmentAffiliation
Foreign AffairsWunna Maung Lwinဝဏ္ဏမောင်လွင်1 February 2021Union Solidarity and Development Party
Home AffairsLieutenant General Soe Htutဒုတိယဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး စိုးထွဋ်1 February 2021[15]Tatmadaw
DefenceGeneral Mya Htun Ooဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး မြထွန်းဦး1 February 2021Tatmadaw
Border AffairsLieutenant General Htun Htun Naungဒုတိယဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး ထွန်းထွန်းနောင်1 February 2021Tatmadaw
Planning and Finance [and Industry][16]Win Sheinဝင်းရှိန်1 February 2021Union Solidarity and Development Party
Investment and Foreign Economic RelationsAung Naing Ooအောင်နိုင်ဦး1 February 2021civil servant[17]
 International CooperationKo Ko Hlaingကိုကိုလှိုင်1 February 2021independent
[Information]       Union Government Office – 2Chit Naingချစ်နိုင်[1 February -31 July 2021]     1 August 2021[18]independent
Religious Affairs and CultureKo Koကိုကို1 February 2021independent
LabourMyint Kyaing[19]မြင့်ကြိုင်1 February 2021civil servant
HealthThet Khaing Win[20]သက်ခိုင်ဝင်း1 February 2021civil servant
Natural Resources and Environmental ConservationKhin Maung Yiခင်မောင်ရီ2 February 2021civil servant
I ConstructionShwe Layရွှေလေး2 February 2021civil servant
Agriculture, Livestock, and IrrigationTin Htut Ooတင်ထွဋ်ဦး3 February 2021independent
Transport and CommunicationsAdmiral Tin Aung Sanဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး တင်အောင်စန်း3 February 2021Tatmadaw
CommercePwint Sanပွင့်ဆန်း3 February 2021Union Solidarity and Development Party
Ethnic AffairsSaw Htun Aung Myintစောထွန်းအောင်မြင့်3 February 2021Kayin People’s Party
Social Welfare, Relief, and ResettlementThet Thet Khineသက်သက်ခိုင်4 February 2021People’s Pioneer Party
Hotels and Tourism, InformationMaung Maung Ohnမောင်မောင်အုန်း7 February 2021, 1 August 2021[21]Union Solidarity and Development Party
Electricity and EnergyAung Than Ooအောင်သန်းဦး8 February 2021Union Solidarity and Development Party
EducationNyunt Peညွန့်ဖေ16 February 2021independent
Union Government Office – 1Lieutenant General Yar Pyaeဒုတိယဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး ရာပြည့်11 May 2021[22]Tatmadaw
IndustryCharlie Thanချာလီသန်း22 May 2021independent
Science and TechnologyMyo Thein Kyawမျိုးသိန်းကျော်17 June 2021independent
 Cooperatives and Rural DevelopmentHla Moeလှမိုး24 June 2021independent
 Immigration and PopulationKhin Yiခင်ရီ1 August 2021Union Solidarity and Development Party
Sports and Youth Affairs[23]Min Thein Zanမင်းသိန်းဇံ1 August 2021independent
Legal AffairsThida Oo[24]သီတာဦး30 August 2021civil servant

Min Aung Hlaing and the deputy chairman of the SAC, Vice Senior General Soe Win, have assumed the posts of prime minister and deputy prime minister in the provisional government.[25] Three additional military officers on the junta are also members of that government: General Mya Htun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, and Lieutenant General Soe Htut. Both other active-duty military members of the SAC and its civilian members are absent from the ministerial line-up.[26]

Notwithstanding the subordination of the SAC regime’s Union ministers to the junta and the limited overlap in membership between the junta and the roster of ministers, the role of the latter in coordinating and administering a wide range of sectors makes its composition a matter of importance to those who would understand this regime. Those sectors are crucial to Myanmar’s economy, society and relations with the outside world. This article therefore presents preliminary data on the regime’s ministers — including their records of previous military and other government service, their career trajectories and educational backgrounds, and their party affiliations and history of involvement in electoral politics.[27]

SOLDIERS AND FORMER SOLDIERS

At first glance, civilians appear to dominate the roster of the SAC regime’s Union ministers. Only five active-duty military officers number among the 28 individuals holding ministerial portfolios. But 14 of the 23 “civilian” ministers are former Tatmadaw officers. The roster thus has a decided military flavour; only nine of its members are “true” civilians.

Table 2. Active-Duty Military Officers among Union Ministers.

NamePortfolioConcurrent PositionMost Recent Military Post[28]
Lieutenant General Soe HtutHome Affairs[29]Member of State Administration CouncilChief of Military Security Affairs[30]
General Mya Htun OoDefenceMember of State Administration CouncilJoint Chief of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force[31]
Lieutenant General Htun Htun NaungBorder Affairs(none)Chief of the Bureau of[32] Special Operations – 1
Admiral Tin Aung SanTransport and CommunicationsMember of State Administration CouncilCommander-in-Chief of the Navy[33]
Lieutenant General Yar Pyae Union Government Office – 1Chair of the NUPRCC[34]Chief of the Bureau of Special Operations – 2[35]

Among active-duty military officers serving as Union ministers, General Mya Htun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, and Lieutenant General Soe Htut serve concurrently on the SAC. After the coup the first two officers gave up the posts of, respectively, Joint Chief of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and Commander-in-Chief of the Navy — the third and the fourth highest positions in the Tatmadaw hierarchy — for less prestigious and less powerful ministerial posts.[36]

Soe Htut became a SAC member in March 2021; he is the only military member of the SAC added to the junta after its formation.[37] Remaining on active duty in the Tatmadaw, he has retained the home affairs portfolio to which Min Aung Hlaing re-appointed him on the day of the coup.[38]

Many of the 14 notionally civilian Union ministers with military backgrounds left active duty to take up civil service posts during the SPDC era. Some, such as Chit Naing and Saw Htun Aung Myint, retired from those posts a decade or two later and rose to prominence in other fields of endeavour. Several were still serving as civil servants when Thein Sein assumed the presidency in 2011. Among these latter, Wunna Maung Lwin and Ko Ko Hlaing became, respectively, a minister under and the chief political advisor to the Thein Sein government. Others, such as Aung Naing Oo and Khin Maung Yi, continued working as civil servants even through the time of the NLD administration. Still other SAC ministerial appointees with military backgrounds — such as Win Shein, Maung Maung Ohn and Khin Yi — left active duty in the 2011-2106 period to serve as ministers or deputy ministers under Thein Sein. For his part, Myo Thein Kyaw, now holding the science and technology portfolio, only left the military sometime between 2018 and 2020.[39]

Table 3. Civilian Ministers with Some Military Background.

NameCurrent PortfolioYear of Retirement from the MilitaryPost-Military Government ServiceYears of Post-Military Government Service
Wunna Maung LwinForeign Affairs1996[40]Ministry of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs[41]1996 – 2016[42]
Win SheinPlanning and Finance2011[43]Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Finance and Revenue[44]2011 – 2016[45]
Aung Naing OoInvestment and Foreign Economic Relations2000[46]Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations[47]2000 – 2021[48]
Myint KyaingLabour(data not available)Ministry of Labour[49](data not available)
Ko Ko HlaingInternational Cooperation2004[50]Ministry of Information[51]2004 – 2011[52]
Chit NaingUnion Government Office – 21997[53]Ministry of Information[54]1997 – 2008[55]
Ko KoReligious Affairs and Culture2006 or 2007[56](data not available)(data not available)
Khin Maung YiNatural Resources and Environmental Conservation2003[57]Ministry of Forestry – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation[58]2003 – 2021[59]
Saw Htun Aung MyintEthnic Affairs1988[60]Ministry of Transport[61]1988 – 2003[62]
Maung Maung OhnHotels and Tourism, Information2014[63]Rakhine State Government[64]2014 – 2016
Myo Thein KyawScience and Technology2019 or 2020[65](data not available)(data not available)
Hla MoeCooperatives and Rural Development(data not available)Ministry of Cooperatives[66](data not available)
Khin YiImmigration and Population2011[67]Ministry of Immigration and Population[68]2011 – 2015[69]
Min Thein ZanSports and Youth Affairs(data not available)Ministry of Foreign Affairs[70](data not available)

CAREER TRAJECTORIES OF UNION MINISTERS

The majority of the nine Union ministers serving the SAC who are apparently “true” civilians with no military backgrounds are career civil servants. Some were serving as deputy ministers or permanent secretaries under the NLD government at the time of the 1 February coup. Several served as deputy ministers in or as advisors to Thein Sein’s government. The outstanding exception is Thet Thet Khine, the minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement, and the first of two women appointed minister under the SAC.[71] She is not a career civil servant, and she held no post in the Thein Sein government. Rather, she is a businesswoman-turned-politician who represented the NLD in Myanmar’s 2015 elections but broke with the party in 2019.[72]

Available data on the recent careers of the 23 civilian and quasi-civilian Union ministers permit sorting them into four broad categories: individuals who held ministerial, deputy ministerial, or advisory positions in the 2011-2016 USDP government; individuals who held deputy ministerial or permanent secretary positions in the 2016-2020 NLD government; other individuals, with or without military background, who previously held posts as civil servants; and still others whose appointments appear to reflect political considerations.

Several of the eight ministers in the first category hold portfolios related to international engagement or economic planning: foreign affairs, international cooperation, finance, tourism, information. Their appointment appears to reflect Min Aung Hlaing’s or the Tatmadaw’s belief that their performance in the Thein Sein administration prepared them to defend or promote Myanmar and SAC interests in the international arena. That five of eight are also former Tatmadaw officers can only increase SAC trust in these men.

Table 4. Union Ministers Members Who Held Ministerial, Sub-Ministerial or Advisory Positions in the 2011-2016 Thein Sein Government.

NameCurrent PortfolioPosition Held in the Thein Sein GovernmentMilitary BackgroundPrevious Background Holding Civilian Posts in Government
Wunna Maung LwinForeign AffairsMinister of Foreign Affairsyesyes
Win SheinPlanning and FinanceMinister of Finance and Revenue[73]yesno
Ko Ko Hlaing International CooperationChief Political Advisor to the President[74]yesyes
Tin Htut Oo Agriculture, Livestock, and IrrigationChairman of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council[75] noyes[76]
Pwint San CommerceDeputy Minister of Commerce[77]nono
Maung Maung OhnHotels and Tourism, InformationChief Minister of Rakhine State[78]yesno
Aung Than OoElectricity and EnergyDeputy Minister of Electric Power[79]noyes[80]
Khin Yi Immigration and PopulationMinister of Immigration and Population[81]yes[82]yes[83]

Six SAC regime Union ministers served as deputy ministers or permanent secretaries under the ousted NLD government, only to find themselves promoted to ministerial positions soon after the 1 February coup. Relative to those of the ministers in the first category, their portfolios largely concern domestic matters: labour, health, construction, natural resources. In this regard, Aung Naing Oo’s appointment to the investment and foreign economic relations portfolio is an exception.

The likely explanation for the promotion of these NLD-era “holdovers” to ministerial positions lies in the SAC’s awareness of the need for some sense of continuity in governance while the military works to assert its control over the country. This consideration is particularly important in cases like those of the Ministry of Health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and even the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations at a time when investors in Myanmar must decide how to adapt to post-coup conditions.

Table 5. Union Ministers Who Held Deputy Minister or Permanent Secretary Positions in the NLD Government.

NameCurrent PortfolioPosition Held under the NLD GovernmentMilitary Background
Aung Naing OoInvestment and Foreign Economic RelationsPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations[84]yes
Myint KyaingLabourDeputy Minister of Labour, Immigration, and Population[85]yes[86]
Thet Khaing WinHealthPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Sports[87]no
Khin Maung YiNatural Resources and Environmental ConservationPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation[88]yes
Shwe LayConstructionPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Construction[89]no
Thida OoLegal AffairsPermanent Secretary, Union Attorney-General’s Office[90]no

The third category of civilian and quasi-civilian Union ministers, comprising retired bureaucrats, includes five individuals. Three have military backgrounds. Following retirement from government service, several were active in private-sector concerns or associations. Chit Naing,[91] originally named information minister but later reassigned to the Union Government Office – 2 portfolio, served after retirement in the leadership of the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association.[92]   After stepping down as rector of the Myanmar Maritime University, Minister of Industry Charlie Than became the president of the Myanmar Engineering Council, directed some businesses, and advised government committees such as the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone Management Committee.[93]

Table 6. Union Ministers Who are Retired Civil Servants.

NameCurrent PortfolioBureaucratic Position at the Time of RetirementYear of RetirementMilitary Background
Chit NaingUnion Government Office – 2Director General, Information and Public Relations Department, Ministry of Information[94]2009yes
Nyunt PeEducationDirector General, Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Education [95]2020[96]no
Charlie ThanIndustryRector, Myanmar Maritime University[97]2013[98]no[99]
Hla MoeCooperatives and Rural DevelopmentManaging Director for the Cooperative Import Export Enterprise, Ministry of Cooperatives[100]2016 or 2017yes
Min Thein ZanSports and Youth AffairsAmbassador to Sri Lanka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs[101]2018[102]yes[103]

Finally, two ministers are politicians. Saw Htun Aung Myint serves as minister of ethnic Affairs and Thet Thet Khine as minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement. More than that of other ministers, but perhaps like that of some civilian members of the junta,[104] their appointment is likely to reflect the Tatmadaw’s political motivations. In the ethnic-affairs role, the junta needs someone with ethnic-nationality credentials with whom both the military and ethnic-nationality groups can work. Saw Htun Aung Myint held the Kayin affairs portfolio in the Yangon Region government during the Thein Sein administration and is now chairman of the Kayin People’s Party.[105]

Thet Thet Khine was an NLD member of the Pyithu Hluttaw, or Lower House of the Union Parliament, before breaking with the NLD to found the People’s Pioneer Party[106] and to contest the 2020 elections. She is known for her pronounced self-confidence and her criticisms of Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership of the NLD and of that party’s poor performance in improving Myanmar’s economy.[107] Her appointment as a Union minister — arguably the subject of more comment among people in Myanmar than that of any other minister — appears to be due both to her strident anti-NLD stance and to a determination to send a signal to other politicians and their parties concerning the potential “rewards” of cooperation with the SAC.

Table 7. Union Ministers Who are Politicians.

NameCurrent PortfolioPolitical Positions or Public Offices Previously Held Military BackgroundCivil Service Background
Saw Htun Aung MyintEthnic AffairsMinister for Kayin Affairs in the Yangon Region, Chairman of the Kayin People’s Party[108]yesyes
Thet Thet KhineSocial Welfare, Relief and ResettlementMember of Pyithu Hluttaw, Chairwoman of the People’s Pioneer Party[109]nono

Two ministers do not fall into any of the categories discussed above. Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture Ko Ko, a retired Air Force colonel who writes under the pen name “Ko Ko (Defence Services Academy)”,[110] also served as chairman of the Yangon Region Election Commission.[111] Minister of Science and Technology Myo Thein Kyaw, another retired colonel, served as the rector of the Defence Services Technological Academy while still on active duty.[112]

ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS

Available data suggest that most of the SAC regime’s Union ministers are Bamar Buddhists. Notable exceptions are the Kayin Christian Saw Htun Aung Myint of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs[113] and the Rakhine Buddhist Nyunt Pe of the Ministry of Education.[114] The contrast between the SAC regime’s ministers and the ethnically diverse civilian membership of the junta itself[115] suggests the managerial and administrative rather than representational and strategic role that the former are meant to play in the regime.

Data on the educational backgrounds of only 27 of the SAC regime’s 28 Union ministers are readily available, and not all of those data are complete. Nineteen ministers received some kind of military education; 13 are — like all but two of the military members of the SAC — Defence Services Academy (DSA) graduates. One studied at the Defence Services Technological Academy (DSTA), and four completed Officer Training School (OTS) and one the Officer Training Course (OTC). Civilian ministers received their undergraduate degrees from Myanmar institutions such as the Rangoon Institute of Technology, the Institutes of Medicine, Rangoon and Mandalay Arts and Sciences Universities, and Mandalay Agricultural University. Nine ministers hold postgraduate degrees, four from overseas institutions.

Table 8. Educational Backgrounds of the SAC Regime’s Union Ministers.

NameCurrent PortfolioUndergraduate EducationPostgraduate EducationOther Military/ Professional Training
Wunna Maung LwinForeign AffairsDefence Services Academy – 16th Intake[116](data not  available)Diplomacy Course – 1st Intake[117]
Lieutenant General Soe HtutHome Affairs  (data not available)  (data not available)Officer Training School – 64th Intake[118]
General Mya Htun OoDefenceDefence Services Academy – 25th Intake[119]  (data not available)  (data not available)
Lieutenant General Htun Htun NaungBorder AffairsDefence Services Academy – 25th Intake[120](data not available)(data not available)
Win SheinPlanning and FinanceDefence Services Academy – 19th Intake[121](data not available)(data not available)
Aung Naing OoInvestment and Foreign Economic RelationsMandalay Arts and Sceinces University, Officer Training Course – 11th Intake [122](data not available)World Trade Organization training course,[123] English Language Training for Officials course at the Victoria University of Wellington[124]
Ko Ko HlaingInternational CooperationDefence Services Academy – 18th Intake[125]M.A., institution unknown[126](data not available)
Ko KoReligious Affairs and CultureDefence Services Academy – 10th Intake[127](data not available)(data not available)
Myint KyaingLabour(data not available)(data not available)(data not available)
Thet Khaing WinHealthM.B.B.S., Institute of Medicine – 1, Yangon[128]master’s degree, internal medicine, Institute of Medicine -1, Yangon[129]postgraduate training, internal medicine, United Kingdom[130]
Khin Maung YiNatural Resources and Environmental Conservation(data not available)(data not available)Officer Training School (data on intake number unavailable)[131]
Shwe LayConstructionB. E., Rangoon Institute of Technology[132](data not available)(data not available)
Tin Htut OoAgriculture, Livestock, and IrrigationB.A., Mandalay Agricultural University[133]M.S., Agricultural Economics, Ohio State University[134](data not available)
Admiral Tin Aung SanTransport and CommunicationsDefence Services Academy – 23rd Intake[135](data not available)(data not available)
Pwint SanCommerceM.B.B.S., Institute of Medicine – 2, Yangon[136]M.B.A., Yangon Institute of Economics[137]Yangon University of Foreign Languages (Diploma in Chinese)[138]
Saw Htun Aung MyintEthnic AffairsDefence Services Academy – 6th Intake[139](data not available)(data not available)
Thet Thet KhineSocial Welfare, Relief, and ResettlementM.B.B.S., Institute of Medicine – 1, Yangon[140]M.B.A., Yangon Institute of Economics;[141] M.B.A., Nanyang Technological University;[142] Ph.D., Public Management, Walden University[143](data not available)
Maung Maung OhnHotels and Tourism, InformationDefence Services Academy – 22nd Intake[144](data not available)(data not available)
Aung Than OoElectricity and EnergyB.E., Rangoon Institute of Technology[145](data not available)(data not available)
Nyunt PeEducation(data not available)Ph.D., Microbiology, Phytochemistry, Hokkaido University[146](data not available)
Lieutenant General Yar PyaeUnion Government Office – 1Defence Services Academy – 22nd Intake[147](data not available)(data not available)
Chit NaingUnion Government Office – 2B.A., Mandalay Arts and Sciences University[148](data not available)Officer Training School – 43rd Intake[149]
Charlie ThanIndustryB.E., Rangoon Institute of Technology[150]M.E., Ph.D., Defence Services Technological Academy[151]Certificate in Naval Architecture, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne[152]
Myo Thein KyawScience and Technology(data not available)(data not available)Officer Training School – 73th Intake[153]
Hla MoeCooperatives and Rural DevelopmentDefence Services Academy – 19th Intake[154](data not available)(data not available)
Khin YiImmigration and PopulationDefence Services Academy – 17th Intake[155]M.A., Defence Studies, National Defence College, Myanmar[156](data not available)
Min Thein ZanSports and Youth AffairsDefence Services Academy – 23th Intake[157](data not available)(data not available)
Thida OoLegal AffairsLL.B., Rangoon Arts and Sciences University[158]Ph.D., Law, Niigata University[159](data not available)


POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATIONS

Eight of the 28 Union ministers are affiliated to political parties, six to the USDP alone.[160] That latter affiliation may say more about the sorts of people whom the Tatmadaw’s proxy party fields as candidates than about the identities of these ministers as politicians. In contrast, the other two ministers with political party ties are first and foremost politicians. One founded the People’s Pioneer Party (PPP), a break-off party from the NLD, and the other leads the Kayin People’s Party (KPP) — a prominent member of which serves on the SAC.[161] Each of these eight ministers contested the 2020 elections, save for Maung Maung Ohn of the USDP, and all lost to NLD candidates.

Table 9. Union Ministers’ Record of Participation in the 2010, 2015, and 2020 Elections.

Name 2010 Elections 2015 Elections 2020 Elections
 PartyResultPartyResultPartyResult
Wunna Maung Lwindid not contestdid not contestUSDPlost to NLD candidate[162]
Win Sheindid not contestdid not contestUSDPlost to NLD candidate[163]
Pwint SanUSDPwon[164]USDPlost to NLD candidate[165]USDPlost to NLD candidate[166]
Saw Htun Aung Myintdid not contestKPPlost to NLD candidate[167]KPPlost to NLD candidate[168]
Thet Thet Khinedid not contestNLDwon[169]PPPlost to NLD candidate[170]
Maung Maung Ohndid not contestUSDPwon[171]did not contest
Aung Than Oodid not contestUSDPlost to NLD candidate[172]USDPlost to NLD candidate[173]  
Khin Yidid not contestUSDPlost to NLD candidate[174]USDPlost to NLD candidate[175]

Even though individuals now holding major portfolios such as Minister of Foreign Affairs Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister of Planning and Finance Win Shein, and Minister of Commerce Pwint San are members of the USDP, that affiliation appears to have been a less important factor in their appointments than several other factors. These include the Tatmadaw’s confidence in these individuals’ capability and loyalty and their relationships with the armed forces.

The decision of Saw Htun Aung Myint from the KPP and Thet Thet Khine from the PPP to serve the SAC regime as ministers appears to have had political costs.[176] However, each of these figures suffered resounding defeats at the hands of the NLD in the November 2020 elections, and they may well view working with the military as the way to regain relevance in the struggle for political survival after the coup. In this regard, they may differ from most of their fellow ministers.

CONCLUSION

Consideration of the line-up of the SAC regime’s Union ministers suggests two preliminary conclusions. First, the group has a fundamentally functional purpose: to administer the Myanmar state. Second, its composition is suggestive of the junta’s objectives for Myanmar. The membership of the SAC itself reflects, on the one hand, Tatmadaw domination and, on the other, the nature of the SAC as an essentially anti-NLD project.[177] In contrast to the negative goal of purging Myanmar’s politics of NLD influence, the SAC’s ministerial appointments appear to reveal a positive vision.[178]

In appointing as ministers former military men who were active in the USDP government and senior civil servants who served under the NLD, the Tatmadaw apparently seeks to recreate the Myanmar of the Thein Sein era. A business-friendly but military-controlled state and a moderately free and open society characterized that era. In his first speech after the 1 February coup, Min Aung Hlaing emphasized that the SAC was “different” from past military regimes, and that its foreign and economic policies would follow “the same path as before”. He also offered assurances that Myanmar’s economy would remain open to foreign investment.[179] At the time, the SAC’s chairman might aspire to preside over an economic performance better than that achieved under the NLD, which was widely criticized for economic mismanagement —  not least by many of the “technocrats” now serving the junta as Union ministers.[180] With such people now on his team, the Senior General may have believed that improved economic performance would legitimize his seizure of power.[181]

SAC regime Union ministers such as Aung Naing Oo, Win Shein, Pwin San and Tin Htut Oo did in fact receive credit for achieving successful economic reforms during their previous government service, not least from foreign investors and other external actors. However, Min Aung Hlaing seems to have miscalculated. The political and economic landscapes of the period since his coup are not those of the recent USDP and NLD eras. Despite his contention that his junta is different from the previous such bodies, the Myanmar public could not help recalling the isolation, impoverishment and political oppression of the SLORC/SPDC era. This memory has led to unprecedented resistance to the SAC, starting in the days immediately after its coup. The Tatmadaw’s violent crackdown has only exacerbated matters, confirming the public’s fears concerning the return of military rule and provoking increasing domestic and international pressure on the junta. Under such circumstances, maintaining basic government functions and reviving Myanmar’s economy, let alone seeing that economy flourish, appear difficult if not impossible.[182]

Prior to 1 August, the extent of ministers’ freedom and authority was not evident. The SAC operated as the dominant body in the Myanmar state. A number of the regime’s Union ministers were former presidential advisors and permanent secretaries, whose primary function seemed to be offering advice to and following the directives of the Senior General and the junta, rather than making significant decisions. This was despite the fact that Myanmar faced simultaneous public-health and economic crises on a scale that it had never before encountered.

The formal inauguration of a “provisional” or “caretaker”[183] government six months after Min Aung Hlaing’s coup suggests that the Tatmadaw is now following, with the full participation of the ministers that it has installed, a path trodden by previous authoritarian and military regimes. This path may prove long. And following the recasting of the SAC regime as a so-called government, the respective roles of the junta — including its civilian members — and of the ministers that it has appointed merit and indeed demand scrutiny.[184] Myanmar’s short- and even medium-term future may hinge on that division of labour.[185] The data presented in this article on the SAC regime’s roster of Union ministers and in two previous articles on the membership of the junta itself seek to lay at least a partial foundation for that scrutiny.

ISEAS Perspective 2021/137, 22 October 2021


ENDNOTES

[1] The Tatmadaw put at least six Union ministers in the NLD government under house arrest on the day of the coup: Minister of Education Myo Thein Gyi; Minister of Transport and Communications Thant Sin Maung; Minister of Commerce Than Myint; Minister of Planning, Finance, and Industry Soe Win; Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Aung Thu; and Minister of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement Win Myat Aye. See “Recent Arrest List”, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 4 February 2021 (https://aappb.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Recent-Arrest-List-Last-Updated-on-Feb-4.pdf, downloaded 4 September 2021). On the same day, the Tatmadaw also terminated the appointments of all 24 deputy ministers serving in civilian-controlled ministries, and of the chairpersons and members of the Naypyitaw Council and the Union Civil Service Board (UCSB). Min Aung Hlaing appointed a new UCSB head while retaining the incumbent members of the judiciary at both the Union and region or state levels, as well as the members of the Myanmar National Commission on Human Rights and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

[2] “Office of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services – Order No. (6/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Ministers”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 2 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-02-red.pdf, downloaded 27 July 2021). On subsequent ministerial appointments, please see note 7.

[3] For data on and analysis of the membership of the SAC, see Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”, ISEAS Perspective 2021/97, 23 July 2021 (/articles-commentaries/iseas-perspective/2021-97-min-aung-hlaing-and-his-generals-data-on-the-military-members-of-myanmars-state-administration-council-junta-by-htet-myet-min-tun-moe-thuzar-and-michael-montesano/, downloaded 27 July 2021), and “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”, ISEAS Perspective 2021/119, 8 September 2021 (/articles-commentaries/iseas-perspective/2021-119-buttressing-the-anti-nld-project-data-on-the-civilian-members-of-myanmars-state-administration-council-junta-by-htet-myet-min-tun-moe-thuzar-and-michael-montesano/ , downloaded 13 September 2021).

[4] Myint Swe had served as chief minister of Yangon Region under the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government from 2011 to 2016. The Tatmadaw put him forward as its candidate for the Union presidency in the latter year. When the NLD-dominated Union parliament chose the party’s own candidate for that office, Myint Swe automatically became one of the country’s two vice presidents, following the provisions of Myanmar’s military-drafted 2008 Constitution. On 1 February 2021, after detaining President Win Myint, the Tatmadaw named Vice President Myint Swe acting president. Soon after being sworn in, Myint Swe declared a state of emergency and transferred state power to Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. See Elaine Kurtenbach and Victoria Milko, “A decade after junta’s end, Myanmar military back in control”, Associated Press, 2 February 2021 (https://apnews.com/article/myanmar-coup-aung-san-suu-kyi-a9843c6bf9c85b3944a606017e500162, downloaded 4 September 2021), and Victoria Milko, “Why is the military taking control in the Myanmar coup?”, Los Angeles Times, 1 February 2021 (https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-02-01/why-military-taking-control-coup-myanmar, downloaded 4 September 2021).

[5] According to the 2008 Constitution, three ministries – the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Border Affairs – are under Tatmadaw control; the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services nominates the ministers that lead them.

[6] In its final months, the 2011-2016 USDP government reintroduced the position of permanent secretary, which became the highest post for a civil servant in a ministry. Given that 23 of 33 permanent secretaries appointed at that time had military backgrounds, some observers believed that this move was intended to maintain the military’s control of ministries through the selection of Tatmadaw and USDP loyalists as for those positions. However, the NLD did not oppose the move at the time. See Kyaw Hsu Mon, “Govt Reintroduces Top Civil Servant Post”, The Irrawaddy, 21 April 2015 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/govt-reintroduces-top-civil-servant-post.html, downloaded 30 July 2021), and David Steinberg, “Myanmar’s permanent secretaries reflect some permanent interests”, Nikkei Asia, 19 June 2015 (https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Myanmar-s-permanent-secretaries-reflect-some-permanent-interests, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[7] The Myanmar Legal Information System database provides the texts of all SAC announcements in Burmese; see https://www.mlis.gov.mm/lsSc.do?menuInfo=3_1_1&ordrType=06 (downloaed 17 October 2021). Entry 216 is the announcement of the formation of the junta’s management committee; see note 11 below. The announcement lists the ministerial line-up as at 19 February 2021. Entry 217 is SAC Order No. (6/2021), dated 1 February 2021, on the “Appointment of Union Ministers”, listing the initial ministerial line-up with 11 Union Ministers, and signed by Min Aung Hlaing in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief. An English-language version of this order is cited in note 2 above. English-language versions of other orders concerning ministerial appointments appear in The Global New Light of Myanmar. On the appointment of Khin Maung Yi and Shwe Lay on 2 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (9/2021): Appointment and Assignment of Union Ministers”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 3 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-03-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Tin Htut Oo, Tin Aung San, Pwint San and Saw Htun Aung Myint on 3 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (15/2021): Appointment and Assignment of Union Ministers”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 4 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-04-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Thet Thet Khine on 4 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (25/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 5 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-05-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Maung Maung Ohn on 7 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (30/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 8 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-08-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Aung Than Oo on 8 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (37/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of

Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 9 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-09-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Nyunt Pe on 16 February, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (66/2021): Appointment of Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 17 February 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-02-17-red.pdf, downloaded 4 October 2021). On the appointment of Yar Pyae on 11 May, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (123/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of

Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 12 May 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-05-12-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Charlie Than on 22 May, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (133/ 2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 23 May 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-05-23-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Myo Thein Kyaw on 17 June, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (139/2021): Appointment and duty assignment of

Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 18 June 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-06-18-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Hla Moe on 24 June, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (142/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 25 June 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-06-25-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Yar Pyae, Chit Naing, Maung Maung Ohn, Myint Kyaing, Khin Yi, Thet Khaing Win and Min Thein Zan on 1 August, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (154/2021): Appointment of Union Ministers”, “State Administration Council – Order No. (155/2021): Transfer and Appointment of Union

Minister”, “State Administration Council – Order No. (156/2021): Appointment of Union Ministers”, “State Administration Council – Order No. (157/2021): Appointment of Union Ministers”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 3 August 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-03-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021). On the appointment of Thida Oo on 30 August, see “State Administration Council – Order No. (177/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of

Union Minister for Legal Affairs and Union Attorney-General”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 31 August 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-31-red.pdf, downloaded 20 September 2021).

[8] “State Administration Council – Order No. (176/2021): Reformation of Union Ministry”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 31 August 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-31-red.pdf, downloaded 4 September 2021).

[9] In Burmese, this body is the ပြည်ထောင်စုအစိုးရအဖွဲ့. See “Chapter V: Executive – The Union Government”, Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008) (https://www.myanmar-law-library.org/IMG/pdf/constitution_de_2008.pdf, downloaded 6 August 2021).

[10] The junta changed its name from SLORC to SPDC on 15 November 1997. See “Burma’s Last Mission?”, The Irrawaddy (Magazine), Vol. 5, No. 7, December 1997 (https://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=944, downloaded 30 September 2021).

[11] “State Administration Council – Order No. (152/2021): Formation of Provisional Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 2 August 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-02-red.pdf, downloaded 3 August 2021). The Burmese term that the junta rendered as “provisional government” in English is အိမ်စောင့်အစိုးရ. Remarkably, this term is the same one that Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services General Ne Win used to refer to his military administration of 1958-1960, which took power after what was regarded as a constitutional coup and prefigured the decades of Tatmadaw domination of the state following the same officer’s coup of 1962. The SAC may have chosen to use the English word “provisional”, rather than “caretaker”, and to announce a timetable for elections in an effort to emphasize the temporary nature of the current regime. But the resurrection of the previously used term for “caretaker government”, various historical parallels with the government originally so labelled, accompanying changes and additions to ministerial portfolios, and the formal appointment of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing as prime minister have reinforced the image of the present “provisional government” as a body with a more than temporary role. Like Ne Win’s 1958-1960 government, the SAC has promised to re-establish law and order and then to convene elections. That earlier caretaker government also attempted to form a technocratic administration, with a determination to “impress foreign governments with the ‘can-do’ attitude of the Burma army”; see Robert H. Taylor, General Ne Win: A Political Biography (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, 2015), p. 228, and “Myanmar Junta’s Caretaker Government Follows in Footsteps of Former Dictator Ne Win”, The Irrawaddy, 3 August 2021 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/analysis/myanmar-juntas-caretaker-government-follows-in-footsteps-of-former-dictator-ne-win.html, downloaded 4 September 2021). For a recent, stimulating and ambitious study of the culture of the Myanmar Tatmadaw, see Andrew Selth, “Myanmar’s military mindset: An exploratory survey”, Griffith Asia Institute, 2021 (https://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/1418333/Military-mindset-web.pdf, downloaded 28 September 2021). The authors are grateful to Dr. Selth for his constant encouragement for their work on this article and their two earlier articles on the SAC regime.  

The inauguration of the new caretaker government has also suggested that the Tatmadaw seeks to give the SAC regime a more civilian image and role in the country’s daily administration. In fact, the announcement of that government was on one level a recasting of the SAC’s management committee (စီမံခန့်ခွဲရေး ကော်မတီ), formed on 19 February 2021. SAC Order No. (152/2021) of 1 August 2021 communicating the formation of a provisional government, notes that the SAC “constituted the Management Committee of the State Administration Council […] under Notification No. (9/2021) of the Council dated 19-2-2021”; Global New Light of Myanmar, 2 August 2021 (https://www.mlis.gov.mm/mLsView.do;jsessionid=A5B8D7BBC341CC2E1AF5A502894535BC?lawordSn=16091, downloaded 6 September 2021). The committee’s membership comprised the 22 Union ministers appointed by the time of its creation and the Union attorney-general. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing served as chairman and Vice Senior General Soe Win served as deputy chairman of this committee; of course, these two officers were also the top men on the SAC junta itself. Presumably, as the SAC appointed new ministers, they also joined the management committee, which served in effect as a cabinet replacing the role and functions of the ousted NLD-led government of Union ministers. Up until the time of its reincarnation as a provisional or caretaker government, the SAC Management Committee seemed to hold regular meetings; summaries of its seventh and eighth meetings, held in May and June, were published online on the Myanmar International Television news website; see “Management Comm. Meeting: SAC Management Committee Meeting (7/2021) Held”, MITV, 21 May 2021 (https://www.myanmaritv.com/news/management-comm-meeting-sac-management-committee-meeting-72021-held?__cf_chl_managed_tk__=pmd_eLGKdsHdaYU5StGgmtMswORb_P.o85hDaQNn7dh96io-1633010408-0-gqNtZGzNAxCjcnBszRSR, downloaded 7 September 2021), and “Management Meeting: SAC Management Committee Meeting (8/2021) Held”, MITV, 4 June 2021 (https://www.myanmaritv.com/news/management-meeting-sac-management-committee-meeting-82021-held?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=pmd_1ZOOmuOPL0PLOxFG7.Tdvcxw9xlxCZz0EEBDAzuPUwQ-1630947818-0-gqNtZGzNAiWjcnBszQdR, downloaded 7 September 2021). Other sources refer to earlier meetings, held in March and April and illustrating a certain level of activity on the part of the SAC’s quasi-cabinet of Union ministers before the formal creation of the provisional or caretaker government in August.

[12] Personal Communication, veteran Myanmar political-economy scholar, 3 September 2021.

[13] The SAC’s move to cast itself as a government while prolonging the country’s state of emergency, along with its promise to hand power over by 2023 after “free and fair elections”, has historical parallels with Ne Win’s earlier caretaker government, which promised a similar trajectory of re-establishing law and order and then convening elections.

[14] When the NLD government took office in 2016, it reduced the number of Union ministries from 36 to 21 and eliminated deputy-minister positions. One of its stated reasons was to reduce government expenses. For example, the Ministry of Science and Technology was incorporated into the Ministry of Education, while the Ministry of Cooperatives was incorporated into the Ministry of Commerce. Further, the government merged the Ministry of Labour with the Ministry of Immigration and Population, and the Ministry of Health with the Ministry of Sports. The SAC has now reversed each of these mergers. The NLD’s term in office also saw the government gradually creating deputy-minister positions and introducing new ministries, such as the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministry of the Union Government Office in November 2017, and the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations in November 2018. The SAC has retained these three ministries. See Ei Ei Toe Lwin and Htoo Thant, “NLD reduces government ministries”, Myanmar Times, 18 March 2016 (https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/nay-pyi-taw/19532-nld-reduces-government-ministries.html, downloaded 27 July 2021); Nyan Hlaing Lynn, “Two new ministries established to ‘ease’ workload for govt”, Frontier Myanmar, 24 November 2017 (https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/two-new-ministries-established-to-ease-workload-for-govt/, downloaded 30 September 2021); and “Parliament approves Formation of New Investment Ministry”, The Irrawaddy, 19 November 2018

(https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/parliament-approves-formation-new-investment-ministry.html, downloaded 30 September 2021).

[15] In the appointments made immediately after the coup, the Ministries of Home Affairs and of the Union Government Office were combined under the leadership of Lieutenant General Soe Htut. See “Office of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services – Order No. (6/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Ministers”. In May, the SAC returned the powerful General Administration Department, which the NLD government had moved from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Union Government Office in 2018, to its original ministry. See “Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council Order No. (119/2021), 5 May 2021 Transfer and Reformation of Union Ministry”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 6 May 2021 (https://ww.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-05-06-red.pdf, downloaded 3 October 2021). The junta also later separated the two ministries once again, appointing Lieutenant General Yar Pyae to head the Ministry of the Union Government Office. See “State Administration Council – Order No. (123/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister” and “အထွေထွေအုပ်ချုပ်ရေးဦးစီးဌာနအား ပြည်ထောင်စုအစိုးရအဖွဲ့ရုံးဝန်ကြီးဌာန လက်အောက်မှ ပြည်ထဲရေးဝန်ကြီးဌာန လက်အောက်သို့ ပြောင်းရွှေ့” [General Administration Department moved from the Ministry of Union Government Office to the Ministry of Home Affairs], Eleven, 5 May 2021 (https://news-eleven.com/article/207802, downloaded 30 July 2021). Confusingly, these May announcements mentioning the Union Government Office came despite the fact that the junta announced several days after Soe Htut’s appointment in February that it had renamed that office the Office of State Administration Council Officer, in an apparent reflection of its determination — in this case, abortive — to repudiate one more legacy of the NLD government. See “Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council Order No. (21/2021), 4 February 2021: Changing names of President’s Office and Union Government Office”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 6 February 2021 (https://cdn.myanmarseo.com/file/client-cdn/gnlm/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/6_Feb_21_gnlm.pdf, downloaded 3 October 2021). (In April, too, the official Global New Light of Myanmar still referred to Soe Htut as “Union Minister at the Government Office”. See Myanmar News Agency, “MoHA Union Minister meets service personnel at training schools in PyinOoLwin”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 12 April 2021 [https://www.gnlm.com.mm/moha-union-minister-meets-service-personnel-at-training-schools-in-pyinoolwin/, downloaded 4 October 2021].) Further, on 1 August — the same day that saw the formation of the “provisional” or “caretaker” government — the regime announced the “reconstitution” of the Union Government Office, despite Yar Pyae’s having been appointed Union minister of the Ministry of the Union Government Office nearly three months earlier. The ministry was now divided into two ministries, each bearing the name Ministry of the Union Government Office but designated as (1) and (2). See “Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council Order No. (149/2021), 1 August 2021: Reconstitution of Union Ministries”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 2 August 2021 (www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-02-red.pdf, downloaded 3 October 2021). At the time of writing, Yar Pyae and Chit Naing hold those two portfolios.

[16] In the appointments made directly after the coup, the military integrated the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Ministry of Industry, with Win Shein in charge. In late May, it separated the two ministries again, and appointed Charlie Than on 22 May to head the Ministry of Industry.

[17] The designation “civil servant” applies here to those individuals who were serving in the civil service immediately before their appointment as ministers. Individuals who served in the civil service but had left it for some interval of time before their appointment as Union government minister, as in the case of retirees, are here designated as “independent”.

[18] On 1 February 2021, Chit Naing took charge of the Ministry of Information. Six months later, the SAC moved him to the Ministry of the Union Government Office – 2. In place of Chit Naing, it assigned Maung Maung Ohn to head the Ministry of Information while serving concurrently as minister of hotels and tourism.

[19] On 1 February, the Tatmadaw appointed Myint Kyaing to head the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population as consolidated by the NLD government. On 1 August 2021, however, the SAC divided the ministry into the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Immigration and Population. While the former is still headed by Myint Kyaing, the latter is now under the leadership of Khin Yi.

[20] On 1 February, the military appointed Thet Khaing Win to lead the Ministry of Health and Sports. On 1 August 2021, the SAC separated the ministry into the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, perhaps in recognition of the urgency of addressing the pandemic. While Thet Khaing Win still heads the former ministry, the relatively unknown Min Thein Zan now heads the latter. In 1972, the Burma Socialist Programme Party government subsumed the country’s sports and physical education committee under the Ministry of Health. The SLORC/SPDC regime established a separate Ministry of Sports in 1996. Under the NLD government, President Htin Kyaw again subsumed the sports portfolio under the Ministry of Health. Youth affairs were under the purview of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement under the SLORC, SPDC, USDP and NLD governments.

[21] See note 18.

[22] “State Administration Council – Order No. (123/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of

Union Minister” and “အထွေထွေအုပ်ချုပ်ရေးဦးစီးဌာနအား ပြည်ထောင်စုအစိုးရအဖွဲ့ရုံးဝန်ကြီးဌာန လက်အောက်မှ ပြည်ထဲရေးဝန်ကြီးဌာန လက်အောက်သို့ ပြောင်းရွှေ့”; also see note 15.

[23] See note 20.

[24] Thida Oo serves concurrently as Union Attorney-General, a post to which the SAC appointed her on 2 February. See “State Administration Council – Order No. (177/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Minister of Legal Affairs and Union Attorney-General”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 31 August 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-08-31-red.pdf, downloaded 5 September 2021); “List of Attorneys-General”, Ministry of Legal Affairs, Myanmar, n.d. (https://www.oag.gov.mm/?page_id=128, downloaded 1 October 2021); and note 90 below.

[25] “State Administration Council – Order No. (152/2021): Formation of Provisional Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar”.

[26] For discussion of members of the SAC junta, see Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta” and “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[27] For reasons that readers will appreciate, the collection of data presented in this article has presented numerous challenges, and some data remain incomplete. The authors thank three prominent students of developments in Myanmar for ensuring that those data are not even more incomplete, and for their valuable comments on a draft version of this article.

[28] Note that these Tatmadaw officers no longer hold the posts listed here.

[29] Minister of Home Affairs Soe Htut is the only Union minster held over from the term of the ousted NLD-led government. His predecessor as home minister, Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe, returned to military duty after his resignation from that post. Some observers believed that Kyaw Swe’s resignation was a consequence of his close association with Aung San Suu Kyi and of the Tatamaw’s dim view of that association. See “Myanmar Military Chief Expected to Appoint Loyalists as Reshuffle Looms”, The Irrawaddy, 13 February 2020 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/analysis/myanmar-military-chief-expected-appoint-loyalists-reshuffle-looms.html, 28 July 2021).

[30] Before being appointed home minister, Soe Htut served as the Chief of Military Security Affairs – the Tatmadaw’s top intelligence post – starting in 2016. Prior to that, he served briefly as the armed forces’ Judge Advocate General. He had earlier led the Central Command and the Eastern Central Command. See Htet Naing Zaw, “Who Is Myanmar’s New Home Affairs Minister?”, The Irrawaddy, 10 February 2020 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmars-new-home-affairs-minister.html, downloaded 28 July 2021).

[31] Mya Htun Oo served as the Tatmadaw’s Joint Chief of Staff starting in 2016. However, following the coup, Lieutenant General Maung Maung Aye replaced Mya Htun Oo in that post when the latter officer became the minister of defence while remaining a member of the SAC. See “Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo Appointed Burmese Military’s Chief of General Staff”, The Irrawaddy, 29 August 2016 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/lt-gen-mya-tun-oo-appointed-burmese-militarys-chief-of-general-staff.html, downloaded 28 July 2021), and Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[32] Before his appointment to head the Ministry of Border Affairs, Htun Htun Naung served as the chief of Bureau of Special Operations – 1 starting in 2015 and, prior to that, as commander of the Yangon Command, the Northern Command and the Eastern Central Command. Htun Htun Naung was previously involved in peace negotiations with ethnic armed organizations, including the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), and was appointed to the five-member permanent Peace Talks Committee that Min Aung Hlaing formed in November 2020, just after the elections. See Nyein Nyein, “Myanmar Military Sets up New Committee for Peace Talks”, The Irrawaddy, 10 November 2020 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-military-sets-new-committee-peace-talks.html, downloaded 28 July 2021); “ဒုတိယဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီးတချို့အငြိမ်းစားယူခွင့်ပြု ” [Some Lieutenant Generals Allowed to Resign], BBC News, 10 August 2015 (https://www.bbc.com/burmese/burma/2015/08/150810_military_reshuffle, downloaded 28 July 2021); Seng Mai, “Government agrees to political talks with KIO”, Myanmar Times, 5 November 2012 (https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/2890-govt-agrees-to-political-talks-with-kio.html, downloaded 28 July 2021); and Lawi Weng, “Shan Army Agrees to Base Withdrawal”, The Irrawaddy, 5 July 2012 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/shan-army-agrees-base-withdrawal.html, downloaded 28 July 2021).

[33] Before his appointment to lead the Ministry of Transport and Communication, Tin Aung San had served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy since 2015. Moe Aung replaced Tin Aung San in that post following the latter officer’s post-coup selection as a minister. Tin Aung San remains a member of the junta, however. See “45 Senior Military Officers Retire to Contest Nov. 8 Poll”, The Irrawaddy, 11 August 2015 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/45-senior-military-officers-retire-to-contest-nov-8-poll.html, downloaded 28 July 2021), and Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[34] Yar Pyae serves as the chair of one of three peace talks committees formed by the SAC after the coup, the National Unity and Peace Restoration Coordination Committee (NUPRCC), which is composed of Union ministers and military commanders. Yar Pyae also served as the chair of the five-member Peace Talks Committee formed by the military in November 2020 and, before that, as the chair of the Union-level Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC). The latter committee was established in 2015, under the Thein Sein government, to support the National Ceasefire Agreement. See Joe Kumbun, “Do the Myanmar Junta’s New ‘Peace-Making Committees’ Stand Any Chance of Success?”, The Diplomat, 4 March 2021 (https://thediplomat.com/2021/03/do-the-myanmar-juntas-new-peace-making-committees-stand-any-chance-of-success/, downloaded 28 July 2021); and Nyein Nyein, “Myanmar Military Sets up New Committee for Peace Talks”; and Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[35] Before becoming an SAC regime Union minister, Yar Pyae had held such senior Tatmadaw posts as chief of Bureau of Special Operations – 2, chief of armed forces training, Judge Advocate General, commander of the Eastern Command, and rector of the Defence Services Medical Academy. In December 2020, he was briefly sent to the military reserves, in which Tatmadaw officers who are not promoted in timely fashion must serve. See “ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး ရာပြည့် အစိုးရအဖွဲ့ ရုံး ဝန်ကြီး ဖြစ်လာ” [Lieutenant General Yar Pyae Becomes the Minister of the Union Government Office], The Irrawaddy, 12 May 2021 (https://burma.irrawaddy.com/news/2021/05/12/241729.html, downloaded 28 July 2021).

[36] See Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”. During the Burma Socialist Programme Party years, ministerial reassignments from military positions either signaled that the appointees in question had incurred Ne Win’s displeasure or served to create openings for more favoured officers. The relative irrelevance of the defence portfolio under the SAC junta also merits highlighting. Past junta leaders – from Ne Win to Saw Maung to Than Shwe – all held the defence portfolio concurrently with the post of Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief. However, it is also worth noting that, since the time of Ne Win’s Revolutionary Council, military regimes have used the “parachute policy” of appointing both active-duty and retired military officers to bureaucratic posts to entrench “the military’s presence in the machinery of government”. See Kyaw Zwa Moe, “From Top Brass to a Bureaucratic Class”, The Irrawaddy, 17 September 2015 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/election/opinion/from-top-brass-to-a-bureaucratic-class, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[37] “State Administration Council – Order No. (106/2021): Appointment of members of the State

Administration Council”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 31 March 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-03-31-red.pdf, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[38] Htet Naing Zaw, “Who is Myanmar’s New Home Affairs Minister”. Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution empowers the Tatmadaw to choose the ministers of home affairs, of defence and of border affairs. Rumoured to be close to and to enjoy the trust of the Senior General, Soe Htut served in Myanmar’s most senior military-intelligence post as head of the Office of Military Security Affairs prior to his appointment as minister, as noted above. See Ei Ei Toe Lwin, “Myanmar spy chief named home affairs minister”, Myanmar Times, 6 Feburary 2020 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-spy-chief-named-home-affairs-minister.html, downloaded 2 August 2021). Until May, Soe Htut was also briefly responsible for the activities of a second ministerial portfolio, that of the Union Government Office while it was combined with the Ministry of Home Affairs. See “Office of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services – Order No. (6/2021): Appointment and Duty Assignment of Union Ministers” and also note 15 above.

[39] As of October 2018, Myo Thein Kyaw remained in service as rector of the Defence Services Technological Academy; “Proceedings of Conference on Science and Technology Development-2018, 30-31 October 2018, Pyin Oo Lwin, Volume I” (Pyin Oo Lwin: Defence Services Academy, 2018) (https://www.cstd.com.mm/documents/CSTD2018E-Book-V1.pdf, downloaded 29 September 2021), front matter. Also see Yao Lide, Yang Minling, Yang Yuhui, Zeng Xinyuan and Liu Sumiao, 赴緬甸參加 2017 年臺灣高等教育展 [Myanmar joins the 2017 Taiwan Higher Education Exhibition], 1 September 2017 (106/9/1) (https://report.nat.gov.tw/ReportFront/PageSystem/reportFileDownload/C10602262/001, downloaded 30 September 2021), p. 61.

[40] Wai Moe, “Wunna Maung Lwin: Military Commander to Foreign Minister”, The Irrawaddy, 13 July 2011 (https://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=21687, downloaded 28 July 2021).

[41] After leaving the military in 1996, Wunna Maung Lwin served as director general in the Ministry of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs before moving to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and serving as Myanmar’s ambassador to Israel (1999-2001) and to France (2001-2004) and as its permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva and ambassador to Switzerland (2005-2011). Some observers believe that his record of defending the previous military junta against criticisms over human-rights abuses during his service in Geneva led to Wunna Muang Lwin’s appointment as foreign affairs minister in 2011. See Wai Moe, “Wunna Maung Lwin: Military Commander to Foreign Minister”.

[42] Ibid.

[43] “Burma: Comparison of New Government Officials with the Council of the European Union List of Sanctioned Regime Members”, Global Justice Center, 1 June 2011 (https://www.globaljusticecenter.net/documents/Burma.SanctionsComparision.June2011.pdf, downloaded 28 July 2021); also see following note.

[44] After retiring as the commander of the Naval Training Headquarters, Win Shein briefly served as the deputy minister of transportation (2011-2012) in Thein Sein’s administration.  In 2012, he became the minister of finance and revenue. He also chaired the Myanmar Investment Commission between 2013 and 2014. See Chan Mya Htwe, “Myanmar military appoints new captains of economy”, Myanmar Times, 4 February 2021 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-military-appoints-new-captains-economy.html, downloaded 28 July 2021), and “Burma: Comparison of New Government Officials with the Council of the European Union List of Sanctioned Regime Members”. Win Shein was a close associate of Soe Thane, a former Navy commander-in-chief and a leading figure in the 2011-2016 Thein Sein government; personal communication, Myanmar think-tank researcher, 22 September 2021.

[45] Chan Mya Htwe, “Myanmar military appoints new captains of economy”.

[46] “Aung Naing Oo”, Singapore Institute of International Affairs, n.d. (http://www.siiaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Aung-Naing-Oo-Bio.pdf, downloaded 28 July 2021).

[47] After leaving the military in 2000, Aung Naing Oo served in various positions in the Ministry of Commerce. In 2010, he became the deputy director general of its Department of Border Trade. In 2011, he assumed the same post in the Directorate of Investment and Company Registration (DICA). In 2012, he was promoted to DICA director general, a post that he held until 2019. Aung Naing Oo is also former secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission (2014-2020), of which he has remained a member after the coup. In 2019, he became director general of the Office of the Union Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. In the same year, he was promoted to the post of permanent secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations – a ministry newly formed by the NLD government. See ibid. and also Thompson Chau, “U Aung Naing Oo leaves DICA for a new role”, Myanmar Times, 3 April 2019 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/u-aung-naing-oo-leaves-dica-new-role.html, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[48] Ibid.

[49] See note 6, above.

[50] “ကိုကိုလှိုင် – ကိုယ်ရေးအကျဉ်း” [Ko Ko Hlaing – Curriculum Vitae], Free Burma, 21 October 2010

(https://archive.is/20130218005826/http://freeburma.info/index.php/Ko_Ko_Hlaing, downloaded 28 July 2021), and Li Chenyang, Chaw Chaw Sein, Zhu Xianghui, eds., Myanmar: Reintegrating into the International Community (Singapore: World Scientific, 2016) (https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/9789814759915_fmatter, downloaded 15 September 2021), p. xiv.

[51] After leaving his military post as first-class chief researcher in Research Department of the Ministry of Defence in 2004, Ko Ko Hlaing served in an advisory role in the Myanmar News and Periodicals Enterprise — and in particular in the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, popularly known as the censorship board — under the Ministry of Information. He apparently remained in this position after his appointment in April 2011 to the post of chief political advisor to President Thein Sein. See Joseph Allchin, “Presidential ‘Advisors’ Raise Eyebrows”, DVB News, 28 April 2011 (http://www.dvb.no/news/presidential-%E2%80%98advisors%E2%80%99-raise-eyebrows/15438, downloaded 15 September 2021), and Li, Chaw Chaw Sein, and Zhu, Myanmar: Reintegrating into the International Community, p. xiv. Prior to becoming Thein Sein’s political advisor, and concurrent to his Ministry of Information advisory role, Ko Ko Hlaing served as the vice-chairman of the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association. See “Myanmar forms advisory board to president”, People’s Daily Online (English), 3 May 2011 (http://en.people.cn/90001/90777/90851/7367968.html, downloaded 15 September 2021). He continued in this role after his appointment as advisor to Thein Sein, as reported by the Myanmar Times in 2012. See Kyaw Hsu Mon, “MWJA plans press council as censorship eases”, Myanmar Times, 9 January 2012 (https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/1300-mwja-plans-press-council-as-censorship-eases.html, downloaded 15 September 2021); also see Li, Chaw Chaw Sein, and Zhu, Myanmar: Reintegrating into the International Community, p. xiv. In 2012, Ko Ko Hlaing became the head of the newly established Myanmar Development Resources Institute (MDRI)-Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The MDRI was dissolved in 2016, when Thein Sein’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government left office. See Zeyar Khin Htun, Wint Thiri Than Aye, Sun Shin (Ivy), “The Importance of Think Tanks in Myanmar’s New Democratic Government and its Society”, Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies, September 2016 (https://myanmarisis.org/publication_pdf/the-importance-of-thinktanks-in-a-democratic-government-and-its-society-ahz-H6SE9i.pdf, downloaded 15 September 2021). Nevertheless, MDRI-CSIS has continued to operate as an independent entity, offering degree programmes and serving as the Myanmar campus of the Aldersgate College Philippines. See MDRI-CSIS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Aldersgatecollegephilippinescsis/?ref=page_internal, accessed 15 September 2021). Ko Ko Hlaing writes under his own name as well as the pen names Sithu Aung and Hlaing Aung.

[52] Joseph Allchin, “Presidential ‘Advisors’ Raise Eyebrows”. The latter date given here refers to the year in which Ko Ko Hlaing became chief political advisor to Thein Sein.

[53] Chit Naing (Psychology), “ချစ်လို့ပြောတာမှတ်ပါ” [I am telling you because I love you], Facebook posting, 2017 (https://www.facebook.com/%E1%82%8F%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%85%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B1%E1%80%95-791458234329559/photos/pcb.909474655861249/909474639194584, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[54] After leaving the military, Chit Naing served as director general of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Information starting in 1997; ibid.

[55] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 2 August 2021.

[56] Personal communication, Myanmar think-tank researcher, 22 September 2021. Ko Ko subsequently served on the Yangon Region Election Commission; personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[57] “Myanmar junta’s environment minister is hit with tough new sanctions by the US Treasury”, Environmental Investigation Agency, 18 May 2021 (https://eia-international.org/news/myanmar-juntas-environment-minister-is-hit-with-tough-new-sanctions-by-the-us-treasury/, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[58] After leaving the military, Khin Maung Yi served as a special officer in the Forestry Department. In 2012, he became director general at the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise before his promotion the following year to permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. (This ministry became the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation under the NLD government.) He has been a member of the Myanmar Investment Commission since 2016. See “Myanmar junta’s environment minister is hit with tough new sanctions by the US Treasury”, and Clare Hammond, “New Myanmar Investment Commission formed”, Myanmar Times, 9 June 2016 (https://www.mmtimes.com/business/20753-new-myanmar-investment-commission-formed.html, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[59] “Myanmar junta’s environment minister is hit with tough new sanctions by the US Treasury”.

[60] Saw Htun Lin, “KPP ဥက္ကဌ၏ဖြတ်သန်းမှုပုံရိပ်လွှာ” [Life of KPP’s Chair], Karen Information Center, 10 February 2020 (http://kicnews.org/2020/02/kpp-%E1%80%A5%E1%80%80%E1%81%A0%E1%82%92%E1%81%8F-%E1%80%BB%E1%80%96%E1%80%90%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9E%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%99%E1%82%88-%E1%80%95%E1%80%B6%E1%80%AF%E1%80%9B%E1%80%AD%E1%80%95/, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[61] After leaving the military in 1988, Saw Htun Aung Myint served in various positions in the Ministry of Transport, such as director of the Seaman Employment Control Division in 1988, director general of the Department of Marine Administration in 1990, and executive director of the Department of Inland Water Transport from 1997 until his retirement in 2003. See ibid.

[62] Ibid.

[63] In 2014, Maung Maung Ohn retired from the military and became the chief minister of Rakhine State. He had previously served as the deputy minister of border affairs. See “ဗိုလ်ချုပ် မောင်မောင်အုန်းအား ရခိုင်ပြည်နယ် ဝန်ကြီးချုပ် အဖြစ် အတည်ပြု ခန့်အပ်” [General Maung Maung Ohn appointed as the chief minister of Rakine State], The Irrawaddy, 30 June 2014 (https://burma.irrawaddy.com/news/2014/06/30/61171.html, downloaded 29 July 2021); Lawi Weng, “General Appointed Arakan Chief Minister, Govt Tells Local MPs”, The Irrawaddy, 25 June 2014 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/general-appointed-arakan-chief-minister-govt-tells-local-mps.html, downloaded 29 July 2021); “New chief minister for Myanmar’s Rakhine state to serve for only a year”, UNHCR refworld, 27 June 2014 (https://www.refworld.org/docid/53c8d9a414.html, downloaded 28 September 2021); Ye Mon, Eyes on Rakhine State as chief minister enters election fray”, Myanmar Times, 29 July 2015 (https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/15724-eyes-on-rakhine-state-as-chief-minister-enters-election-fray.html, downloaded 17 October 2021); and “สาธารณรัฐแห่งสหภาพเมียนมาร์” [Republic of the Union of Myanmar], Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Thailand), March 2014 (https://www.neda.or.th/home/uploads%20-%20Copy/news/29201583436-W66wqq4Y.pdf, downloaded 28 September 2021), p. 9.

[64] Maung Maung Ohn’s appointment as chief minister of Rakhine State in 2014 brought critical reaction, as he was neither an ethnic Rakhine nor an elected official. However, some commenters approved of his appointment, believing that Rakhine State needed a strong figure who was not an ethnic Rakhine to restore stability and resolve racial conflicts without taking sides. His predecessor, the Rakhine Hla Maung Tin, resigned after not being able to resolve communal violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims in the state. See Ei Ei Toe Lwin, “ရခိုင်က စိန်ခေါ်မှုတွေကို ၀န်ကြီးချုပ်သစ်ကျော်လွှားနိုင်မှာလား” [Will the new chief minister be able to overcome challenges in Rakhine State?], Myanmar Times, 3 July 2014 (https://myanmar.mmtimes.com/national-news/11000-2014-07-03-06-45-30.html, downloaded 29 July 2021), and Wa Lon, “New chief minister to face close scrutiny from MPs”, Myanmar Times, 4 July 2014 (https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/10897-new-chief-minister-to-face-close-scrutiny-from-rakhine-mps.html, downloaded 28 September 2021).

[65] See note 39 above.

[66] Hla Moe served as managing director of the Cooperative Import Export Enterprise, Ministry of Cooperatives, starting in the SPDC era and into the Thein Sein administration. See “List of enterprises owned or controlled by the Government of Burma/Myanmar or its members or persons associated with them, referred to in Article 15”, Annex III to “Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 383/2011 of 18 April 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 194/2008 renewing and strengthening the restrictive measures in respect of Burma/Myanmar”, United Kingdom (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/eur/2011/383/annex/III/division/ANNEX/adopted/data.xht?view=snippet&wrap=true, downloaded 29 September 2021). He retired from that post in 2016 or 2017; personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[67] Kudo Toshihiro, “New Government in Myanmar: Profiles of Ministers”, Institute of Developing Economies – Japan External Trade Organization, 26 July 2011 (https://www.ide.go.jp/English/Research/Region/Asia/20110726.html, downloaded 3 August 2021).

[68] Khin Yi served as the chief of the Myanmar Police Force starting ca. 2005. He retired from that post in 2011 with the rank of brigadier general, and then became the minister of immigration and population in Thein Sein’s administration. He held that latter post until 2016. See ibid. and “Council Common Position 2005/340/CFSP of 25 April 2005”, Official Journal of the European Union, 29 April 2005 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32005E0340, downloaded 3 August 2021).

[69] Kudo, “New Government in Myanmar: Profiles of Ministers”, and “Top ministers resign”, Eleven, 13 August 2015 (https://web.archive.org/web/20150924000234/http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/politics/top-ministers-resign, downloaded 18 October 2021).

[70] Min Thein Zan served as Myanmar’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, apparently between 2013 and 2018, and also as the country’s envoy to the Maldives starting in 2014. See “U Min Thein Zan presents Credentials to Sri Lankan President”, New Light of Myanmar, 24 October 2013 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/docs16/NLM-2013-10-24-red.pdf, downloaded 3 August 2021); “Appointment of Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Sri Lanka”, Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, 23 January 2018 (https://mfa.gov.lk/appointment-of-ambassador-of-the-republic-of-the-union-of-myanmar-to-sri-lanka/, downloaded 3 August 2021); and “New Burmese Ambassador presents credentials to the President”, President’s Office, Republic of Maldives, 5 August 2014 (https://presidency.gov.mv/Press/Article/14638, downloaded 3 August 2021).

[71] The second is Thida Oo, the minister of legal affairs.

[72] Thet Thet Khine contested the 2015 general elections under the banner of the NLD and won a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw, the Lower House of the Union Parliament. He served as a member of that body’s Banking and Monetary Development Committee. In 2018, she was dismissed from an NLD township-level executive committee for publicly criticizing the NLD government’s policies. She resigned from the NLD the following year to found the People’s Pioneer Party and became that new party’s chairwoman. See Htun Htun, “Two NLD Lawmakers Dismissed from Executive Committee”, The Irrawaddy, 3 September 2018 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/two-nld-lawmakers-dismissed-executive-committee.html, downloaded 30 July 2021); Nyan Lin Tun, “MP Dr Thet Thet Khaing [sic] resigns from NLD”, Eleven, 1 November 2019 (https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/mp-dr-thet-thet-khaing-resigns-from-nld, downloaded 29 July 2021); and Swe Lei Mon, “Influential ex-NLD legislator launches new party”, Myanmar Times, 2 December 2019 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/influential-ex-nld-legislator-launches-new-party.html, downloaded 5 September 2021). Reuters has recently reported that Ivan Htet, the son of Air Force Commander-in-Chief and SAC junta member General Maung Maung Kyaw, serves as an advisor to Thet Thet Khine’s People’s Pioneer Party. See “How a family of a Myanmar junta leader are trying to cash in”, Reuters, 7 September 2021 (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/myanmar-generals-families/, downloaded 13 September 2021).

[73] While serving as the minister of finance and revenue, Win Shein is reported to have been responsible for reforms in the areas of banking, public fiscal management, and taxation.   In negotiations with the Paris Club in 2013, he managed to cancel the foreign debts that the country had assumed before 1988. He also chaired the Myanmar Investment Commission between 2013 and 2014. See Chan Mya Htwe, “Myanmar military appoints new captains of economy”.

[74] Ko Ko Hlaing reportedly stated that he advised the president only on international politics, and not on domestic politics. See Ba Kaung, “Thein Sein Appoints Presidential Advisors”, The Irrawaddy, 27 April 2011 (https://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=21193, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[75] In 2012, Thein Sein appointed Tin Htut Oo chair of the National Economic and
Social Advisory Council. Prior to that appointment, the latter was senior advisor to the Special Unit on Countries with Special Needs, Office of the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Bangkok (2009-2011). See “Chairman – U Tin Htut Oo”, Centre for Economic and Social Development (https://mdricesd.wordpress.com/about/our-people/, downloaded 29 July 2021). In his capacity as chairman of the board of the Centre for Economic and Social Development in Yangon, in May 2017 he was prominent among civil society attendees of the 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference organized under the NLD government. See “CESD Participates in the Union Peace Conference”, Centre for Economic and Social Development, 31 May 2017 (https://mdricesd.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/cesd-participates-in-the-union-peace-conference/, downloaded 22 September 2021).

[76] Starting in 1974, Tin Htut Oo held various positions in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. In 2001, he became director general of the Department of Agricultural Planning, serving in that post until he retired in 2009. See “Chairman – U Tin Htut Oo”.

[77] Pwint San served as the deputy minister of commerce in Thein Sein’s government from 2011 to 2016. He had previous been joint secretary general of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry starting in 2009 and secretary general of the Myanmar Industries Association starting in 2006. See “High-level Policy Dialogue on Reviving Multilateralism: ‘Road to Bali and Beyond’, 19 November 2013 – Know the Speakers”, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, November 2013 (https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/d8files/knowledge-products/rmbali-bios.pdf, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[78] See note 63.

[79] Aung Than Oo served as the deputy minister of electric power (2), in what later became the Ministry of Electric Power, from 2011 to 2016. See “Burma: Comparison of New Government Officials with the Council of the European Union List of Sanctioned Regime Members”.

[80] Before becoming the deputy minister, Aung Than Oo apparently served in various positions in the Ministry of Electric Power (2), such as executive director, chief engineer and project engineer. See “Aung Than Oo”, Myanmar 2020 Revolution, n.d. (https://www.socialpunishment.com/aung-than-oo, downloaded 13 October 2021).

[81] Kudo, “New Government in Myanmar: Profiles of Ministers”, and “Top ministers resign”.

[82] According to available data, Khin Yi was the commander of 21st Military Operations Command (MOC – 21) in 2002. See Maung Aung Myoe, Building the Tatmadaw: Myanmar Armed Forces since 1948 (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing, 2009), p. 229.

[83] That is, while serving as chief of the Myanmar Police Force; see Kudo, “New Government in Myanmar: Profiles of Ministers”.

[84] As DICA director general, Aung Naing Oo led the drafting of the Investment Law (2016) and the Company Law (2017), two laws important for the development of Myanmar’s private sector, under the NLD government. He was also involved in the drafting of the Special Economic Zone Law. Aung Naing Oo is said to have gained trust from foreign investors and the business community. See Chan Mya Htwe, “Myanmar military appoints new captains of economy”, and Chau, “U Aung Naing Oo leaves DICA for a new role”.

[85] Before his appointment as deputy minister in 2020, Myint Kyaing had served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Immigration and Population since 2015, apparently appointed under the Thein Sein government. The ministry became the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population under the NLD government. Earlier, Myint Kyaing was the director general of the Department of Population. See “Myanmar appoints deputy ministers for 2 ministries”, Xinhua, 5 February 2020 (http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/05/c_138757451.htm, downloaded 29 July 2021); “Thailand wants meeting with Myanmar, Malaysia over human trafficking crisis”, Straits Times, 8 May 2015 (https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thailand-wants-meeting-with-myanmar-malaysia-over-human-trafficking-crisis, downloaded 1 October 2021); and “UNFPA and Ministry of Immigration and Population Launch 2014 Population and Housing Census Project”, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs , 14 December 2012 (https://reliefweb.int/report/myanmar/unfpa-and-ministry-immigration-and-population-launch-2014-population-and-housing, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[86] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[87] Thet Khaing Win served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Sports starting in 2015 or 2016. Prior to that, he was the rector of University of Medicine – 1 in Yangon during 2013-2015. See programme for “Asia-Pacific Conference in Fukuoka 2018: International Symposium on Oral Education and Research in Kitakyushu”, Kyushu Dental University, Kitakyushu, Japan, 11 May 2018 (https://apc-fukuoka.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018.pdf, downloaded 17 October 2021), p. 6.

[88] Khin Maung Yi served in the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, apparently starting in 2003; he seems to have become its permanent secretary with the creation of that post in 2015. As noted, the ministry became the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation under the NLD government. See “Myanmar junta’s environment minister is hit with tough new sanctions by the US treasury”.

[89] Shwe Lay was appointed as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Construction by the NLD government. In 2017, he had been appointed director general of the Department of Bridges. See “နိုင်ငံတော်သမ္မတရုံး အမိန့်ကြေငြာစာအမှတ် ၂၂/၂၀၁၇ – ဝန်ထမ်းအဖွဲ့အစည်းအကြီးအမှူးများခန့်ထားခြင်း” [Office of the President – Order No. 22/2017 – Appointment of Heads of Civil Servants], Myanmar Gazette, 9 February 2017 (https://data.opendevelopmentmekong.net/dataset/babb0c87-f3ee-472a-b7d2-c93078808a00/resource/83dbeefb-a57a-4583-b751-a350736d4fc6/download/70-10.pdf, downloaded 29 July 2021).

[90] Thida Oo served as the permanent secretary of the Union Attorney-General’s Office under the NLD government. She also headed the legal affairs assistance team for the Dawei Special Economic Zone in 2020. See “ထားဝယ် အထူးစီးပွားရေးဇုန် စီမံခန့်ခွဲမှု ကော်မတီ (၆/၂၀၂၀) လုပ်ငန်း ညှိနှိုင်း အစည်းအဝေးအား (၁၃-၇-၂၀၂၀) ရက်နေ့ တွင် Online Video Meeting ပြုလုပ် ကျင်းပခဲ့ပါသည်” [Online Coordination Meeting of Dawei SEZ Management Committee (6/2020) held on 13.7.2020], Dawei Special Economic Zone, 13 August 2020 (http://www.daweisez.gov.mm/my/news/thaawy-athuuciipaarejun-ciimnkhnkhaimu-keaamttii-62020-lupngn-nnyiniung-acnnyaweaaa-13-7-2020, downloaded 5 September 2021).

She had previously served as director general of the Legal Advisory Department of the Union Attorney-General’s Office, accompanying Aung San Suu Kyi when she travelled to defend Myanmar against charges of genocide before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2019. See “Public sitting held on Thursday 12 December 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Yusuf presiding, in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) – Verbatim Record”, International Court of Justice, 2019 (https://www.icj-cij.org/public/files/case-related/178/178-20191212-ORA-01-00-BI.pdf, downloaded 5 September 2021). As noted above, a day after seizing power, the SAC junta promoted Thida Oo to the post of Union Attorney-General. On 30 August, she was appointed minister of the newly created Ministry of Legal Affairs, a post that she holds while concurrently serving as Union Attorney-General. In that latter capacity, Thida Oo is also an ex officio member of the Myanmar Investment Commission. See “About the MIC”, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, n.d. (https://www.dica.gov.mm/en/information-myanmar-investment-commission-mic, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[91] Some sources refer to him as “Chit Hlaing”, while the official announcement of this ministerial appointment uses “Chit Naing”. See “Myanmar information ministry warns some media and public not to spread rumours and incite unrest”, Myanmar Times, 3 February 2021 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-information-ministry-warns-some-media-and-public-not-spread-rumours-and-incite-unrest, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[92] Chit Naing held the posts of vice chairman and joint secretary of the Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association after retiring from government service, and also served as a member of its central executive committee. See “MPs told to leave but Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint remain in custody”, Frontier Myanmar, 3 February 2021 (https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/mps-told-to-leave-but-aung-san-suu-kyi-win-myint-remain-in-custody/, downloaded 30 July 2021), and Chit Naing (Psychology), “အနှစ်သုံးဆယ်” [Thirty Years], 2001 (https://fliphtml5.com/pwsmw/kxgc/basic/101-150, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[93] Charlie Than was also a member of the experts group of the National Water Resources Committee and of the Yangon Region Urban Transport Authority. See “Engr. Prof. Dr. Charlie Than”, Myanmar Engineering Council (http://www.myanmarengc.org/sites/default/files/downloadpdf/Dr.%20Charlie%20Than%2C%20President%20of%20MEngC.pdf, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[94] Chit Naing (Pyschology), “ချစ်လို့ပြောတာမှတ်ပါ”.

[95] Nyunt Pe served as director general in the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ministry of Education from 2017 until his retirement in 2020. He was the rector of Pathein University from 2010 to 2017. He was accused of misusing university funds while serving in that post. See “Myanmar Military’s New Education Minister Faced Finance Probes”, The Irrawaddy, 18 February 2021 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-militarys-new-education-minister-faced-finance-probes.html, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[96] Ibid.

[97] From 2008 through his retirement in 2013, Charlie Than served as the rector of the Myanmar Maritime University. He was pro-rector of the same institution during 2002-2008. He previously held various positions in the Ministry of Transport, such as assistant superintending engineer at the Dalla Ship Yard in Yangon (1990-1992), assistant superintending engineer at the Yadanarpon Ship Yard in Mandalay (1992-1999), and superintending engineer at the Dalla Ship Yard (1999-2002), chief engineer at Ahlone Dockyard in Yangon (1999-2003), and senior engineer of the flotilla, Department of Inland Water Transport (1999-2004). Charlie Than was also a visiting professor of naval architecture at the Defence Services Technological Academy (DSTA) during 1996-2010. See “Engr. Prof. Dr. Charlie Than”.

[98] Ibid.

[99] While Charlie Than has never been an officer in the armed forces, he has had exposure to the Tatmadaw, at least in the naval context and through teaching at the DSTA.

[100] See note 66 above.

[101] “U Min Thein Zan presents Credentials to Sri Lankan President”, “Appointment of Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Sri Lanka”, and “New Burmese Ambassador presents credentials to the President”.

[102] “Appointment of Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to Sri Lanka”.

[103] Available data indicate that Min Thein Zan was commander of the 13th Military Operations Command (MOC – 13) in 2008. See Maung Aung Myoe, Building the Tatmadaw, p. 232.

[104] See Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[105] Note that SAC civilian member Mahn Nyein Maung ran on this party’s ticket in the November 2020 elections; ibid.

[106] That is, ပြည်သူ့ရှေ့ဆောင်ပါတီ.

[107] “Ousted and outspoken: The lady taking on Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s election”, Straits Times, 21 September 2020 (https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/ousted-and-outspoken-the-lady-taking-on-aung-san-suu-kyi-in-myanmars-election, downloaded 30 July 2021), and Thompson Chau, John Liu, and Kyaw Soe Htet, “Thet Thet Khine slams Suu Kyi’s leadership on economy”, Myanmar Times, 19 October 2020 (https://www.mmtimes.com/news/thet-thet-khine-slams-suu-kyis-leadership-economy.html, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[108] After his retirement from government service as the executive director of the Department of Inland Water Transport in 2003, Saw Tun Aung Myint headed various Karen civil society and religious organizations. In 2010, he founded the Kayin People’s Party (KPP) and became its chairman. During 2011-2016, he served as the minister for Kayin ethnic affairs in the Yangon regional government and was also a member of Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) from 2016 until 2021. See Saw Htun Lin, “KPP ဥက္ကဌ၏ဖြတ်သန်းမှုပုံရိပ်လွှာ ” and “UPDJC ကော်မတီဝင်များ” [Committee members of UPDJC], ISP Peace Desk (https://ispmyanmarpeacedesk.com/function/updjc-%E1%80%80%E1%80%B1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%BA%E1%80%99%E1%80%90%E1%80%AE%E1%80%9D%E1%80%84%E1%80%BA%E1%80%99%E1%80%BB%E1%80%AC%E1%80%B8/, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[109] See note 72 above.

[110] In Burmese, “ကိုကို (စစ်တက္ကသိုလ်)”.

[111] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[112] “Proceedings of Conference on Science and Technology Development-2018, 30-31 October 2018, Pyin Oo Lwin, Volume I”, front matter.

[113] “ဦးထွန်းအောင်မြင့် (ခ) စောထွန်းအောင်မြင့်” [U Htun Aung Myint or Saw Htun Aung Myint], Eleven Media Group, 25 October 2020 (https://m.facebook.com/ElevenMediaGroup/photos/pcb.3533924413311823/3533921289978802/?type=3&source=48, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[114] “Myanmar Military’s New Education Minister Faced Finance Probes”.

[115] See Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[116] Wai Moe, “Wunna Maung Lwin: Military Commander to Foreign Minister”, and, on the DSA intake dates of military members of the SAC junta, see Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[117] Wai Moe, “Wunna Maung Lwin: Military Commander to Foreign Minister”. Formally the Basic Course in Diplomatic Skills, this is a short course on diplomacy and international relations that has been conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for interested members of the general public since 2000. See “MoFA opens Certificate Course in Basic Diplomatic Skills (43/2019)”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 1 October 2019 (https://www.gnlm.com.mm/mofa-opens-certificate-course-in-basic-diplomatic-skills-43-2019/, downloaded 16 September 2021).

[118] Htet Naing Zaw, “Who Is Myanmar’s New Home Affairs Minister?”

[119] “Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo Appointed Burmese Military’s Chief of General Staff”.

[120] Tin Maung Maung Than, “Myanmar Security Outlook: A Taxing Year for the Tatmadaw”, pp. 34-51 in Security Outlook of the Asia Pacific Countries and Its Implications for the Defense Sector (Tokyo: NIDS Joint Research Series No. 14, The National Institute for Defense Studies, Japan, 2016) (https://www.nids.mod.go.jp/english/publication/joint_research/series14/pdf/chapter04.pdf, downloaded 29 September 2021), p. 47.

[121] Personal communication, veteran Myanmar journalist, 27 September 2021. As noted above, Win Shein spent his military career as a naval officer.

[122] Aung Naing Oo entered Mandalay Regional College in 1979, and then studied geology at Mandalay Arts and Sciences University during 1981-82. In 1982, he was selected for the OTC. Opting not to sit for his final-year university exams, he enrolled in that course; personal communication, university classmate of Aung Naing Oo’s, 24 October 2021. Mandalay Arts and Sciences University was the name by which Mandalay University went during the last decade of the Socialist Period. The OTC (အလုပ်သင်ဗိုလ်လောင်းသင်တန်း) is not to be confused with the OTS (ဗိုလ်သင်တန်း). The former accepts undergraduate recruits, while the latter enrols graduate recruits.

[123] “Aung Naing Oo”.

[124] “Myanmar daughter follows in father’s footsteps”, School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria University of Wellington, 12 January 2015 (https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/smib/about/news/news-archives/2015-news/myanmar-daughter-follows-in-fathers-footsteps, downloaded 21 September 2021.) Aung Naing Oo also received the ASEAN-New Zealand Award in 2015, upon the commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue relations. 

[125] “Ko Ko Hlaing”.

[126] Ibid. This degree was in “TEFL”, or teaching English as a foreign language.

[127] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[128] Programme for “Asia-Pacific Conference in Fukuoka 2018: International Symposium on Oral Education and Research in Kitakyushu”, p. 6. A decade and a half ago, the English-language names of the Institutes of Medicine were changed to Universities of Medicine. (In Burmese, they were already designated တက္ကသိုလ်.)

[129] Ibid.

[130] Ibid. Note that Thet Khaing Win is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

[131] “Myanmar junta’s environment minister is hit with tough new sanctions by the US treasury”.

[132] “ရွှေလေး B.E. (Civil)” [Shwe Lay, B.E. (Civil)], Yangon Technological University Students’ Union – YTUSU Facebook page, 5 August 2021 (https://www.facebook.com/YTUStudentsUnion/photos/pcb.2026705570812881/2026704974146274, downloaded 5 September 2021). The current name of this institution is “Yangon Technological University”.

[133] “Chairman – U Tin Htut Oo”.

[134] Ibid.

[135] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 17 June 2021.

[136] “High-level Policy Dialogue on Reviving Multilateralism: ‘Road to Bali and Beyond’, 19 November 2013 – Know the Speakers”.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid.

[139] Saw Htun Lin, “KPP ဥက္ကဌ၏ဖြတ်သန်းမှုပုံရိပ်လွှာ”.

[140] “Thet Thet Khine”, USC Marshall Pacific Rim Business Forum, 2014 (http://www.marshallpacrimforum.org/thet-thet-khine/, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[141] Ibid.

[142] Ibid.

[143] “Building Process of Public-Private Dialogue during Major Reforms in Myanmar”, Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies, 2018 (https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/6051/, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[144] Renaud Egreteau, “The (Few) Generals That Don’t Exit in Myanmar”, The Diplomat, 20 November 2015 (https://thediplomat.com/2015/11/the-few-generals-that-dont-exit-in-myanmar/, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[145] “အောင်သန်းဦး B.E. (EP)” [Aung Than Oo, B.E. (EP)], Yangon Technological University Students’ Union – YTUSU Facebook page, 5 August 2021 (https://www.facebook.com/YTUStudentsUnion/photos/pcb.2026705570812881/2026704974146274, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[146] “Nyunt Phay”, LinkedIn, n.d. (https://mm.linkedin.com/in/nyunt-phay-a988665a, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[147] “ဒုတိယ ဗိုလ်ချုပ်ကြီး ရာပြည့် အစိုးရအဖွဲ့ ရုံး ဝန်ကြီး ဖြစ်လာ”.

[148] Chit Naing (Psychology), “သေနင်္ဂဗျူဟာ အတတ်ပညာ” [Sun Tzu – The Art of War], 2003 (https://pt.slideshare.net/satsaluu/ss-27494862, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[149] Ibid. and personal communication, Myanmar think-tank researcher, 22 September 2021.

[150] “Engr. Prof. Dr. Charlie Than”.

[151] Ibid.

[152] Ibid.

[153] Personal communication, former Tatmadaw officer and DSA graduate, 21 July 2021.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Maung Aung Myoe, Building the Tatmadaw, p. 229.

[156] That is, နိုင်ငံတော်ကာကွယ်ရေးတက္ကသိုလ်. See “Khin Yi” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ukhinyimyanmar, downloaded 15 September 2021), and “ဦးခင်ရီ၏ဘဝဇာတ်ကြောင်း – တပ်မတော်သားဘဝ” [Life Story of U Khin Yi – Life of a Soldier], Facebook page, 13 September 2020(https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=2731344260410369&set=pb.100044235049128.-2207520000, downloaded 29 September 2021).

[157] Ibid., p. 232.

[158] Personal Communication, retired Myanmar law professor, 1 October 2021. This source confirms that Thida Oo took her degree in 1986. This institution was the rump of the former Rangoon University that remained following the hiving off of programs in such areas as medicine and economics to form separate institutions during the Socialist Period.

[159] “Thida Oo”, LinkedIn, n.d. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/thida-oo-a6b51877/?originalSubdomain=mm, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[160] Khin Yi is the vice-chair of the USDP, and Wunna Maung Lwin and Pwint San members of its central executive committee. See Thiha Lwin, “Military Proxy USDP Adds Leaders Ahead of Myanmar’s Election”, The Irrawaddy, 24 February 2020 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/military-proxy-usdp-adds-leaders-ahead-myanmars-election.html, downloaded 4 August 2021); San Yamin Aung, “Military-Backed USDP Leaders Defeated by NLD in Myanmar Election”, The Irrawaddy, 12 November 2020 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/elections/military-backed-usdp-leaders-defeated-nld-myanmar-election.html, downloaded 4 August 2021); and “မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတွင်ယနေ့ဖြစ်ပေါ်နေသောစီးပွားရေးအခြေအနေများနှင့်ပတ်သက်၍ ပြည်ထောင်စုကြံ့ခိုင်ရေးနှင့်ဖွံဖြိုးရေးပါတီ ဗဟိုအလုပ်အမှုဆောင် ဒေါက်တာပွင့်ဆန်း (စီးပွားရေးနှင့်ကူးသန်းရောင်းဝယ်ရေးဒုတိယဝန်ကြီးဟောင်း) အားတွေ့ဆုံမေးမြန်းမှု” [Interview with former Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance Dr. Pwint San, central executive committee member, on Myanmar’s current economic situation], Union Solidarity and Development Party, 20 August 2018 (http://www.usdp.org.mm/2018/08/20/%E1%80%BB%E1%80%99%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%E1%80%99%E1%80%AC%E1%82%8F%E1%80%AD%E1%80%AF%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%84%E1%80%B6%E1%80%90%E1%80%BC%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9-%E1%80%9A%E1%80%B1%E1%80%94%E1%82%94%E1%80%BB/, downloaded 4 August 2021).

[161] See Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[162] Wunna Maung Lwin ran on the USDP ticket for a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Zabuthiri Township, Mandalay Region; he lost to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), 2020 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d. (https://uecdata.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/2020%20Election%20Result%20%28%20Percentage%20%29/1.%20Pyithu%20Result%20%28%20Percentage%20%29/Pyithu%20Each%20Candidate%20Result.pdf, downloaded 31 July 2021), p. 44.

[163] As a USDP candidate, Win Shein contested a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Oattara Thiri Township, Mandalay Region but lost to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 46.

[164] In 2010, running as a USDP candidate, Pwint San won a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Mayangone Township, Yangon Region. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၇-၁၁-၂၀၁၀)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) (7.11.2010)], Union Elections Commission, n.d. (https://www.uec.gov.mm/show_data_content.php?name=140.pdf&type=law&code=x&sno=4938&token=ee2edccb225aeeed8586de8451e67b701dd700d6cbcb681068901576e2c2faf84e6fa39bdc8c21e283e97a992ceab2e128839c653c53b7271a0e07f31497fa36, downloaded 30 July 2021), p. 58.

[165] In 2015, again as a USDP candidate, Pwint San ran for reelection to a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw Mayangone Township, Yangon Region, but lost this time to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), 2015 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d. (https://www.uec.gov.mm/show_data_content.php?name=01PyithuHluttaw1.pdf&type=page_multiple_photo&code=17&sno=3799&token=1bbff23522a45e97467bdd86f736fcb7e0617f1dc16a0ec49141f582277afc55f030c36948f4f631f4a207b59a7e301f60ec0574502dde4d2e02f7012ea3a7ad, downloaded 30 July 2021), p. 53.

[166] In November 2020, Pwint San contested a seat in the Yangon Region hluttaw representing Mayangone Township Constituency – 2 on the USDP ticket, but lost to an NLD candidate. See “တိုင်းဒေသကြီး သိုမဟုတ် ပြည်နယ်လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအ ခြေအ နေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for State and Region hluttaw, 2020 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d.

(https://uecdata.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/2020%20Election%20Result%20%28%20Percentage%20%29/3.%20S%20%26%20R%20Result%20%28%20Percentage%20%29/S%26R%20Each%20Candidate%20Result.pdf, downloaded 30 July 2021), p. 123.

[167] Running as a KPP candidate in 2015, Saw Htun Aung Myint contested a seat in the Amyotha Hluttaw, or Upper House of the Union Parliament, representing Constituency – 7, Kayin State, but lost to an NLD candidate. See “အမျိုးသားလွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House), 2015 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d. (https://www.uec.gov.mm/show_data_content.php?name=02AmyotharHluttaw.pdf&type=page_multiple_photo&code=17&sno=9583&token=fd383d60132223462ab1397e79d03be04d694929d77d8f3f9eeb64b4bf5359e1f447b641c72e24a18d2b4e100896c87e384f28654c657876eab0a64cfdf3fdc9, downloaded 30 July 2021), p. 8

[168] In 2020, Saw Htun Aung Myint contested a seat in the Amyotha Hluttaw representing Constituency – 10, Kayin State, as a KPP candidate, but lost to the same NLD candidate who had beaten him five years earlier. See “အမျိုးသားလွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House), 2020 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d. (https://uecdata.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/2020 Election Result %28 Percentage %29/2. Amyotha Result %28 Percentage %29/Amyotha Each Candidate Result.pdf, downloaded 30 July 2021). p. 12.

[169] Thet Thet Khine won a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Dagon Township, Yangon Region on the NLD ticket in 2015. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 54.

[170] In November 2020, running on the ticket of the People’s Pioneer Party (PPP), Thet Thet Khine again contested for a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw, this time for one representing Mayangone Township, Yangon Region, but she lost to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 64.

[171] Running on the USDP ticket, Maung Maung Ohn won a seat in the Rakhine State hluttaw representing in Ann Constituency – 1. See “တိုင်းဒေသကြီး သိုမဟုတ် ပြည်နယ်လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)” [Election Results for Each Candidate for State and Region hluttaw, 2015 General Elections], Union Elections Commission, n.d.

(https://www.uec.gov.mm/show_data_content.php?name=03S_D.pdf&type=page_multiple_photo&code=17&sno=5789&token=2a840d7fdcf49becf13ac7636e5a61b04ae3a7e87747ed76b8a4fd5c8a03777981c19159c7dfb39e409533df0604dd7e692b4b7221b4e6eeb98475b8e623d134, downloaded 30 July 2021), p. 93.

[172] Running as a USDP candidate, a man named Aung Than Oo contested a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Thanphyu Zayat Township, Mon State, in 2015, but he lost to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 38. Please see following note, too.

[173] In 2020, a USDP candidate named Aung Than Oo contested a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region, but he lost to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 14. The authors have been unable definitively to confirm that the Aung Than Oo who contested a parliamentary seat in Mon State in 2015 is the same Aung Than Oo who contested a seat in Sagaing Region five years later and, if not, which of these men now serves the SAC regime as a Union minister. Their working assumption is, however, that the same Aung Than Oo who now serves in the latter capacity was in fact an unsuccessful USDP candidate in the two geographically distant constituencies in the successive elections in question.

[174] Running on the USDP ticket in 2015, Khin Yi contested a seat in the Amyotha Hluttaw representing Constituency – 6, Ayeyarwaddy Region, but lost to an NLD candidate. See “အမျိုးသားလွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၁၅ ခုနှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 35.

[175] In 2020, running again as a USDP candidate, Khin Yi contested a seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw representing Seikgyi Kanaungto Township, Yangon Region, but lost once again to an NLD candidate. See “ပြည်သူ့လွှတ်တော်ကိုယ်စားလှယ်လောင်းတစ်ဦးချင်းစီ၏ မဲဆန္ဒရရှိမှုအခြေအနေ (၂၀၂၀ ပြည့်နှစ် အထွေထွေ ရွေးကောက်ပွဲ)”, p. 61.

[176] See Emily Fishbein and Kyaw Hsan Hlaing, “Myanmar military tries ‘divide and rule’ in bid to cement power”, Al Jazeera, 15 February 2021 (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/15/myanmar-military-tries-divide-and-rule-in-bid-to-cement-power, downloaded 5 September 2021), and “NLD ‘Turncoat’ Criticized After Being Named to Myanmar Military Regime’s Cabinet”, The Irrawaddy, 5 February 2021 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/nld-turncoat-criticized-named-myanmar-military-regimes-cabinet.html, downloaded 5 September 2021).

[177] See Htet Myet Min Tun, Moe Thuzar and Michael Montesano, “Min Aung Hlaing and His Generals: Data on the Military Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta” and “Buttressing the Anti-NLD Project: Data on the Civilian Members of Myanmar’s State Administration Council Junta”.

[178] See “Myanmar’s Junta Seen Moving to Dissolve NLD to Ensure Grip on Power”, Radio Free Asia, 16 August 2021 (https://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/dissolve-08162021192931.html, downloaded 27 August 2021).

[179] Nitta Yuichi, “Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing says this coup is ‘different’”, Nikkei Asia, 8 February 2021 (https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Myanmar-Crisis/Myanmar-junta-chief-Min-Aung-Hlaing-says-this-coup-is-different, downloaded 30 July 2021).

[180] Personal communication, veteran Myanmar political-economy scholar, 3 September 2021.

[181] Thant Myint-U, “Myanmar’s Coming Revolution: What Will Emerge from Collapse?”, Foreign Affairs (July/August 2021) (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/burma-myanmar/2021-06-11/myanmars-coming-revolution, downloaded 14 June 2021).

[182] For an incisive examination of Myanmar’s current plight and the inability of the SAC to alleviate it, see Lin Htet Myat, “Myanmar’s Junta Lacks the Tools Needed to Stabilize the Economy”, The Irrawaddy, 25 August 2021 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/guest-column/myanmars-junta-lacks-the-tools-needed-to-stabilize-the-economy.html, downloaded 27 August 2021). Especially in the face of the third wave of the pandemic in July 2021, the SAC’s inability effectively to address COVID-19 became apparent. With the collapse of the public healthcare system, the country faces extreme shortages of both medical staff and medical supplies, while vaccination programmes are stalled. In July alone, the junta reported 6,000 deaths – about 58 per cent of total deaths counted by the Ministry of Health since the start of the pandemic – and 141,908 cases – about 46 per cent of total COVID-19 infections. However, the actual numbers of both deaths and cases of infection are likely to be much higher, as many people do not report to the ministry at all and the junta has very limited capacity in tallying numbers. See “Official Myanmar COVID-19 Deaths Exceed 10,000”, The Irrawaddy, 3 August 2021 (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/official-myanmar-covid-19-death-updates-exceed-10000.html, downloaded 4 August 2021).

[183] See note 11 above.

[184] The regime’s need to confront intensified resistance following the National Unity Government’s declaration of “D-Day” and the start of a “people’s defensive war” (ပြည်သူ့ခုခံစစ်) against the Tatmadaw and its SAC regime on 7 September 2021 may of course render this recasting utterly unfeasible. See Duwa Lashi La, ‌အရေးပေါ် မိန့်ခွန်း [Emergency Speech], National Unity Government Facebook page, 7 September 2021 (https://www.facebook.com/NUGmyanmar/videos/605821454129982, downloaded 7 September 2020). Duwa Lashi La serves as Acting President of Myanmar’s National Unity Government; Sebastian Strangio, “Myanmar Shadow Government Declares ‘National Uprising’ Against Military Rule”, The Diplomat, 7 September 2021 (https://thediplomat.com/2021/09/myanmar-shadow-government-declares-national-uprising-against-military-rule/, downloaded 15 September 2021); and Shibani Mahtani, “Myanmar shadow government declares war on military junta, escalating crisis”, Washington Post, 7 September 2021 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/myanmar-military-war/2021/09/07/46c14ca2-0f93-11ec-baca-86b144fc8a2d_story.html, downloaded 15 September 2021).

[185] Speaking at an SAC meeting in late September, Min Aung Hlaing offered an apparent clarification of this division of labour, with comments to the effect that “The Tatmadaw does not directly concern with the State administration and assigns the relevant civilian administrative bodies” [sic]. See “All ethnic people need to unitedly live in the country with the same will and same rights: Senior General”, Global New Light of Myanmar, 25 September 2021 (https://www.burmalibrary.org/sites/burmalibrary.org/files/obl/GNLM2021-09-25-red.pdf, downloaded 28 September 2021).

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