Former Brig-Gen Ohn Thwin (far left) with former lieutenant general and ex-minister Ohn Myint (second from left) and other colleagues at the Myanmar Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyitaw in March 2022.
A pro-junta retired brigadier general and diplomat was shot dead by anti-regime urban guerrilla fighters in Yangon on the weekend, becoming the highest-ranking junta target killed by resistance groups since late last year.
Ex-Brigadier General Ohn Thwin, 72, was gunned down at his home in Hlaing Township on Saturday. His son-in-law Ye Tayza, a former army captain, was shot dead along with the former brigadier general as he tried to respond to the attack. Inya Urban Force, one of the city’s anti-regime guerrilla forces, claimed responsibility, saying they carried out the shooting with another urban resistance group.
A funeral for Ohn Thwin was held at a military cemetery in Yangon on Monday. The family did not place an obituary notice in the state-run newspapers, but regime Information Minister Maung Maung Ohn offered his condolences in the papers.
After retiring from the army, Ohn Thwin served as Myanmar’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and South Africa. He frequently denounced democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and openly celebrated on Facebook when anti-regime protesters were targeted in junta crackdowns last year.
He was a leading member of the Myanmar War Veterans Association, which is currently a source of recruits for the regime in its military operations to crush armed resistance, and was also said to be the mentor of the regime’s number two man, Soe Win.
Ohn Thwin is the highest-ranking regime figure to be killed since the assassination of Thein Aung, a former navy lieutenant commander and chief financial officer of the regime-linked Mytel Telecommunications Co., in Yangon last year. Mytel is a joint venture between the Myanmar military and Vietnam’s Defense Ministry.
Anti-regime guerrilla forces in Myanmar’s cities have targeted people with close ties to the regime since the junta launched its brutal crackdowns on peaceful protesters against military rule in the months following the February 2021 military coup.
The targets have ranged from local administration officials who collect anti-regime resistance information for the junta to government officials closely working with the regime to pro-junta former military people like Ohn Thwin.
In April this year, 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. She survived the attack.