Burma Replaces Senior Air Force Officer After Stray China Bomb

By Aung Hla Tun 29 June 2015

RANGOON — Burma has replaced a high-ranking air force officer, officials said on Monday, in a move that was seen as a response to China’s anger over stray bombs that fell in Chinese territory and killed five farmers three months ago.

Maj-Gen Lwin Oo was replaced as the air force chief-of-staff by Brig-Gen Maung Maung Kyaw, a senior official in the President’s Office told Reuters. It is unclear when the switch happened.

Burma emerged from 49 years of military rule in 2011 and now has a quasi-civilian government, but high-level shifts within its military remain shrouded in secrecy, and officials spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivities.

An air force officer said Lwin Oo was believed to have lost his post because of a bomb that fell on the Chinese side of the border during a campaign against rebels from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) earlier this year.

“As far as we understand, he was removed as a punishment for the air force’s stray bombing on Chinese territory,” the air force officer said.
Burma initially denied it was responsible for the bomb, but later accepted blame and apologized.

The MNDAA announced a unilateral ceasefire earlier this month.