U Thein Oo
Myanmar Senior Legal Advisor
Region: Southeast Asia
Thein Oo holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Law degree from the Arts and Science University of Yangon, Myanmar, and has a Master’s degree in Human Rights from Mahidol University, Thailand. In the May 1990 General Elections, he was elected as a Member of Parliament, representing Mandalay South-West as a candidate from the National League for Democracy (NLD) party led by Nobel Peace Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Instead of transferring governing power to the elected civilian government, the military regime systematically undermined the democratic political process by arresting politicians, activists and Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the General Election. As a result, many MPs fled Myanmar to the border regions in order to continue to fight for democratic rule and human rights inside the country. As exiled parliamentarians, he co-founded the National Coalition Government of the Union of Myanmar (NCGUB), the Government in Exile, on December 18th, 1990 in Kayin State, Myanmar. From 1990 until 2006, he was a Minister of the NCGUB, acting in turn as Minister for Judicial Affairs, Minister for Human Rights Affairs, and Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
He was also elected as the Secretary of the Member of Parliament Union – Myanmar (MPU) on February 19th, 2008. The MPU was formed on June 15th, 1996, with greater participation from elected parliamentarians who had left Myanmar.
Under the oppressive military dictatorship, civilians were denied their basic rights. They suffered under unfair and oppressive laws, an arbitrary judicial system, and a lack of rule of law in Myanmar. In opposition to this, the Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC) was founded as an independent organization on October 19th, 1994, by lawyers who have actively opposed the military dictatorship and who arrived in the revolutionary border areas before and after the Four Eights (8888) Uprising in 1988. He was the Chairman and co-Founder of the BLC.
He has worked as a team leader of the Federal Constitution Drafting Committee (FCDC) of the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), in partnership with many democratic and ethnic opposition groups. The NCUB is an umbrella organization that unites many opposition groups. The Federal Constitution of the Union of Myanmar (Draft) Constitution was adopted in 2008.
He came back to Myanmar in November 2012 after an official invitation from the President’s Office and now he lives in Mandalay. He is a licensed lawyer (advocate) under Myanmar law.