Myanmar Regime Leaders and Senior USDP Figures Hold Yangon Reunion

By The Irrawaddy 27 December 2022

Retired senior Myanmar military officers from the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th intakes of the Defense Services Academy (DSA) gathered in Yangon on Sunday to pay their respects to their former teachers at the DSA.

Ministers from the current military regime and leaders of the military’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) were among those present at the reunion at the headquarters of Yangon Command in Yangon’s Mayangone Township.

At first glance, the event was merely a gathering of DSA alumni. But considering the fact that the regime is planning a hold a general election next year, and the seniority of the people attending, the annual event took on a different complexion.

Among the attendees who are serving in the current junta were foreign minister and former Colonel Wunna Maung Lwin (16th intake), international cooperation minister and ex-Colonel Ko Ko Hlaing (18th intake), cooperatives and rural development minister and ex-Colonel Hla Moe (19th intake) and Naypyitaw Council chairman and USDP central executive committee member U Tin Oo Lwin.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who was the part of 19th intake, and acting president U Myint Swe, who was part of the 15th intake, did not attend in person but sent messages and gifts.

Ex-Brigadier General Ohn Thwin, 72, who was gunned down at his home in Yangon’s Hlaing Township in September by urban guerilla fighters, was part of the DSA’s 15th intake. He served as Myanmar’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and South Africa.

USDP chairman former Brigadier General Khin Yi (first row, far left) attends the reunion to pay respect to former teachers at the Defense Services Academy on December 25 in Yangon.

USDP members who were present at the reunion included party chairman and former Brigadier General Khin Yi (17th intake), former President’s Office minister and ex-Major General Hla Tun (15th intake), former Air Force chief and general and former science and technology minister Myat Hein, and USDP central executive committee member and former Lieutenant General Myint Hlaing (17th intake).

Myint Hlaing served as agriculture minister in former general U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government. He became infamous in that role for telling farmers to save money to repay agricultural loans by skipping one meal a day.