Tin U, Nld

Tin U, Nld
   (1927- )
   Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and a prominent opposition leader, Tin U served as Tatmadaw chief of staff and defense minister from 1974 to 1976. He was dismissed in March 1976 on charges of dealing in the black market and given a seven-year jail sentence in January 1977 for failing to report the coup d'état attempt (July 1976) against Ne Win, of which he allegedly had prior knowledge. Observers believe that Ne Win purged him on trumped up charges because he was becoming too popular in the army and among civilians. Tin U had urged restraint in handling the demonstrations arising from the December 1974 U Thant Incident, and many younger officers, including the coup plotters, were loyal to him (they were later purged or passed over for promotion in favor of Ne Win loyalists).
   Released during a general amnesty in 1980, Tin U devoted himself to studying Buddhism and law and was prominent during the protests of 1988. In September 1988, he joined with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung Gyi in a coalition that became the National League for Democracy after the September 18 seizure of power by the State Law and Order Restoration Council. Following Aung Gyi's departure from the NLD in December 1988, he became the party's chairman. In July 1989, he was placed under one-year house arrest, then given a prison sentence with hard labor. After his release, Tin U worked closely with Aung San Suu Kyi to revive the NLD, which was an object of sustained repression, and he was again placed in detention following the Black Friday Incident of May 30, 2003. As of late 2003, the state of his health and conditions of imprisonment remained uncertain.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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