Myanmar Central Bank Vice-Governor Shot at Her Home

By The Irrawaddy 7 April 2022

The vice-governor of the junta-controlled Central Bank of Myanmar, Daw Than Than Swe, was shot at her house in Yangon’s Bahan Township on Thursday, becoming the highest-ranking regime official so far to be attacked. Conflicting reports have emerged over whether she survived the attack.

A member of an anti-regime guerrilla group in Yangon claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Daw Than Than Swe was shot five times on her doorstep shortly before noon. But he refused to offer any more details for security reasons.

Pro-junta accounts on Facebook said the 55-year-old died at around 11:45 a.m., right after being admitted to a hospital with gunshot wounds. However, junta spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun, while confirming the shooting, told the media that the vice-governor was admitted to a military hospital with “minor” injuries.

Daw Than Than Swe was appointed as one of two vice-governors of the central bank on Feb. 4, 2021, three days after the military seized power by overthrowing the country’s democratically elected government.

The shooting comes a few days after the central bank issued a controversial order requiring that all foreign exchange earned by locals be converted into local currency at the “official rate” within “one working day”.

Financial experts and the business community voiced concern that the order would not only hurt the country’s US dollar-dependent export-import industry, but also worsen inflation, adding to the already severe burden on the people of Myanmar, whose economy has been in a downward spiral since the military coup in February last year.

Furthermore, the central bank has been under fire following the coup for imposing limits on cash withdrawals from banks and automated teller machines, restricting the cash flow as many customers rushed to take out their money fearing the possible economic consequences of the military takeover. The central bank has eased restrictions over the past year, but individuals still face limits on how much they can withdraw from their savings accounts.

Officials working for the junta and military informants are increasingly being targeted by anti-regime forces.

In November, former navy lieutenant commander U Thein Aung, the chief financial officer of military-owned telecom operator Mytel, was shot dead outside his home in Yangon.