Famous Burmese Leaders

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Ask a traveller and you shall be surprised to know that Myanmar has become a hot pick for people exploring Southeast Asia. From its decades of isolation and remoteness, Myanmar is fast emerging and opening itself to public, foreigners and tourists. On a rapid transition spree, Myanmar has come off since its harsh military rule days and is growing into a country free from oppression. For travellers and explorers, the country is enriched with several eye-opening sites – be it the ancient temples or the majestic rivers, the floating gardens or the traditional teak villages. In this fast developing world, there is a strong sense of old Orient in Myanmar wherein people still practice Buddhism as a way of life. Though the country is opening up the 21st century stigmas, its traditional way of life is barely intruded by the same. And helping keep its culture and traditions strongly rooted but at the same time taing a step towards modernity and contemporary are its leaders, dynamic and strong, who are slowly paving way for Myanmar’s transition into a new government since 2012. Htin Kyaw is the incumbent President of the country who serves both as the head of the state and the government. Check this section further to find out valuable information regarding Myanmar/Burmese leaders, their life and works.
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 1 
Aung San Suu Kyi
(Former State Counsellor of Myanmar (2016 - 2021) and Winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize)
Aung San Suu Kyi
44
Birthdate: June 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is credited with co-founding the National League for Democracy, which eventually ended the rule of Myanmar's military junta. In 1999, she was named one of the Children of Gandhi by Time magazine for enduring almost 15 years of house arrest for the greater good of Myanmar.

 2 
General Aung San
(Politician)
General Aung San
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: July 19, 1947
Revered as a hero and as the Father of the Nation in Burma (now Myanmar), Aung San was instrumental in his country’s fight for independence from the British. The founder of the Myanmar Armed Forces, San was unfortunately assassinated a few months before Burma achieved independence.
 3 
Htin Kyaw
(President of Burma)
Htin Kyaw
5
Birthdate: July 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kungyangon Township, Myanmar (Burma)

Former Burmese president Htin Kyaw had an elite education, which took him to London, Tokyo, and Massachusetts. A close aide of Aung San Suu Kyi, Kyaw became the president in 2016 following the end of Myanmar’s military leadership, as Suu Kyi was barred from holding the post.

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 4 
U Nu
(Former Prime Minister of Burma)
U Nu
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Myanmar
Died: February 14, 1995

U Nu was a Burmese nationalist politician and statesman. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Burma on three occasions between 1948 and 1962. U Nu is also remembered for his literary works; he wrote several plays and novels during his lifetime.

 5 
Khun Sa
(Ethnic Chinese Drug Lord Who was the Dominant Opium Warlord in the Golden Triangle from 1976 to 1996)
Khun Sa
6
Birthdate: February 17, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mongyai Township
Died: October 26, 2007

Khun Sa was an ethnic Chinese drug lord who was involved in massive opium smuggling operations. Nicknamed the Opium King, Khun Sa was the dominant opium warlord in the Golden Triangle from 1976 to 1996. He was played by Ric Young in the 2007 American biographical crime film American Gangster. 

 6 
Ne Win
(Burmese Politician)
Ne Win
8
Birthdate: May 14, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paungdale
Died: December 5, 2002
Known as “the destroyer of Burma,” Myanmar’s former dictator, president, and prime minister General Ne Win practically reduced the once-prosperous nation to its mere shadow. The founder of the Burma Socialist Programme Party, he spent his final years under house arrest, and had only a dozen people at his funeral.
 7 
Thein Sein
(President of Myanmar)
Thein Sein
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kyonku

Thein Sein is a Burmese politician who served as the prime minister of Myanmar from 2007 to 2011. From 2011 to 2016, Sein served as Myanmar's president. Widely regarded as a reformist leader, Sein's government took up a series of political reforms, such as halting the construction of the Myitsone Dam and releasing many political prisoners.

 8 
Than Shwe
(Head of State of Myanmar Between 1992 and 2011)
Than Shwe
6
Birthdate: February 2, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kyaukse

Than Shwe is a Burmese politician best known for his service as the head of state of Myanmar between 1992 and 2011. During this period, Than Shwe held important positions of power including Supreme Commander of Myanmar Defense Services and Prime Minister of Myanmar.

 9 
Khin Kyi
(Burmese Diplomat and Politician)
Khin Kyi
2
Birthdate: April 16, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Myaungmya, Burma
Died: December 27, 1988

Khin Kyi was a Burmese diplomat and politician. She is best remembered for her marriage to Aung San, a prominent politician, revolutionary, and independence activist. Khin Kyi is also remembered for her service as the Minister of Social Welfare from 1953 to 1960. She also served as the Burmese Ambassador to India from 1960 to 1967.

 10 
Ba Maw
(Head of State of Burma from 1943 to 1945)
Ba Maw
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Maubin, Burma
Died: May 29, 1977

Ba Maw was a Burmese political leader and lawyer. He achieved prominence as a lawyer in 1931, when he defended Saya San. He then focused on his political career and went on to serve as the Head of State of Burma from 1 August 1943 to 27 March 1945.

 11 
Saw Maung
(Former Prime Minister of Burma)
Saw Maung
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mandalay
Died: July 24, 1997

Saw Maung was a Burmese statesman and army general. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Burma from 21 September 1988 to 23 April 1992. He also served as the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services from 1985 to 1992. In 1990, Saw Maung became the first person to receive the rank of Senior General in Myanmar.

 12 
U Saw
(Prime Minister of British Burma from 1940 to 1942)
U Saw
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1900
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Okpho, Tharrawaddy District, British Burma
Died: May 8, 1948

U Saw was a Burmese politician best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of British Burma from 1940 to 1942. He is also remembered for playing a key role in the murder of Burma's revolutionary freedom fighter, Aung San. When Burma gained independence in January 1948, U Saw was executed by hanging for his role in the assassination.

 13 
Maha Bandula
(Burmese Military Leader Who Played an Important Role in the 'First Anglo-Burmese War')
Maha Bandula
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1782
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dabayin, Kingdom of Burma
Died: April 1, 1825

Maha Bandula was a military leader best remembered for his association with the Royal Burmese Armed Forces, where he served as the  commander-in-chief from 1821 until his demise in 1825. He played an important role in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Maha Bandula is widely regarded as a national hero for his resistance against the British.

 14 
Maung Maung
(Former President of Burma)
Maung Maung
1
Birthdate: January 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)
Died: July 2, 1994

Maung Maung was a Burmese politician, lawyer, writer, and historian. He is best remembered for his service as the President of Burma from 19 August 1988 to 17 September 1990. Maung Maung also worked as a lecturer in Rangoon University and contributed to the Burma Khit Newspaper as an editor.

 15 
Sein Lwin
(President of Burma from 27 July to 12 August 1988)
Sein Lwin
1
Birthdate: January 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paung, Myanmar
Died: August 12, 2004

Sein Lwin was a Burmese politician who served as the President of Burma from 27 July to 12 August 1988. Sein Lwin, who also served as the military general in the Burmese Army, earned the nickname Butcher of Rangoon for brutally suppressing student-led protests in Rangoon. The students were massacred for protesting against the military regime of General Ne Win.

 16 
San Yu
(President of Burma from 1981 to 1988)
San Yu
1
Birthdate: March 3, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pyay, Myanmar
Died: January 30, 1996

San Yu was a Burmese statesman and army general. He is best remembered for his service as the President of Burma from 1981 to 1988. As one of the founding members of Ne Win's Union Revolutionary Council, San Yu played an important role in the military coup that overthrew the government of U Nu in 1962.

 17 
Soe Win
(Prime Minister of Myanmar from 2004 to 2007)
Soe Win
1
Birthdate: May 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Myanmar
Died: October 12, 2007

Soe Win was a Burmese political leader best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Myanmar from 19 October 2004 to 12 October 2007. He is also remembered for playing an important role in the 2003 Depayin Massacre, where 70 National League for Democracy supporters were murdered by a government-sponsored mob.

 18 
U Ottama
(Theravada Buddhist Monk, Author, and Freedom Fighter)
U Ottama
1
Birthdate: December 28, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sittwe, Myanmar (Burma)
Died: September 9, 1939

U Ottama was a Theravada Buddhist author and monk. He is best remembered for leading the independence movement in Burma during British colonial rule. U Ottama kept fighting for the freedom of his country despite being imprisoned on a number of occasions for his anti-colonialist political activities.

 19 
Cho Cho
(Former First Lady of Myanmar)
Cho Cho
1
Birthplace: Danubyu, Burma

Cho Cho is a Burmese political figure best known as the wife of popular Burmese politician, Win Myint. During her husband's presidency, Cho Cho was the First Lady of Myanmar. She is often praised for supporting her husband through thick and thin of his political career.

 20 
Shwe Mann
(Burmese Political Leader)
Shwe Mann
1
Birthdate: July 11, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kanyutkwin

Shwe Mann is a Burmese politician who served as the Speaker of the Assembly of the Union from 1 July 2013 to 29 January 2016. A former general, Shwe Mann was regarded as the third-most powerful person in Myanmar when the country was under the influence of strongman politician, Than Shwe.

 21 
Thakin Than Tun
(Burmese Politician Who Played an Important Role in Burma's Struggle for Independence)
Thakin Than Tun
1
Birthdate: 1911 AD
Birthplace: Ka Nyut Kwin, Myanmar
Died: September 24, 1968

Thakin Than Tun was a Burmese politician best remembered for his service as the Minister of Land and Agriculture from 1942 to 1943. An influential politician, he led the Communist Party of Burma from 1945 until his death in 1968. Thakin Than Tun started his career as a school teacher and played an important role in Burma's struggle for independence.

 22 
Su Su Lwin
(First Lady of Myanmar from 2016 to 2018)
Su Su Lwin
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Yangon, Burma

Su Su Lwin is a Burmese politician best known for her role as the First Lady of Myanmar from 2016 to 2018. She is currently serving as a member of the House of Representatives. Prior to her political career, Su Su Lwin worked as an educator and is credited with founding a non-profit organization named Hantha Educators in 2006.

 23 
Kyaing Kyaing
(First Lady of Myanmar from 1992 to 2011)
Kyaing Kyaing
1
Birthplace: Kaw Kyaik, Burma

Kyaing Kyaing is a Burmese socialite best known for her role as the First Lady of Myanmar from 1992 to 2011, during which her husband Than Shwe served as the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council.

 24 
Win Tin
(Burmese Politician Who Founded a Liberal Democratic Political Party called the 'National League for Democracy')
Win Tin
0
Birthdate: March 12, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bago Region, Myanmar
Died: April 21, 2014

Win Tin was a Burmese politician, journalist, and political prisoner. He is best remembered for co-founding a liberal democratic political party called the National League for Democracy. His writings and activities in the National League for Democracy led to his imprisonment by the government for 19 years.