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David Abel
Native name

ဒေးဗစ် အေဘယ်လ်

Born 1935 (1935) (age 85)
Insein, Burma
Nationality Burmese
Ethnicity Anglo-Burman and Burmese Indian
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spouse(s) Khin Thein Mu
Relatives Alexander Abel[1]

David Oliver Abel (Burmese language: ဒေးဗစ် အေဘယ်လ်; born 1935) is a retired Brigadier General in the Myanmar Army and a former cabinet minister, posts in the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.[2] He was considered the country's economic czar throughout the 1990s.[3] Abel retired from the State Peace and Development Council and vacated his position as the Minister of the Chairman's Office on 25 August 2003.[4]

Abel was born in 1935 in Insein, near Rangoon, but his family's roots were in Maymyo (now Pyin Oo Lwin).[5] Abel's father, Alfred T. Abel was a Burma Railways engineer, while his mother Daw Chai, was a senior school teacher.[5] Avek matriculated from Maymyo's Saint Albert's Catholic Missionary School in 1951.[5] He then studied medicine at Mandalay College but did not complete his degree because of an ongoing insurgency in Upper Burma. He then attended the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) from 1953 to 1956, graduating with an economics degree.[5][6] Abel retired from the Tatmadaw in 1991 as a Director General of Procurement, with a rank of Brigadier General. Throughout his military career, he served in various civil administration posts.[5] He was appointed by the State Law and Order Restoration Council to serve as a cabinet minister for the Ministry of Commerce (Burma), the Ministry of Finance (Burma), Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, and the Ministry of State Peace and Development Council's Office before retiring in 2003.[5] Abel founded the military conglomerate, Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, in 1990, along with 12 joint venture companies, and served as Chairman of the Myanmar Investment Commission until 1997.[5]

Abel is married to Khin Thein Mu.[7] Abel is a Roman Catholic of Anglo-Burman heritage.[8][9] Abel's father is an Indian Catholic, but he does have some Jewish ancestry.[3]


  1. Lintner, Bertil (16 November 2007). "Memoir to Bachoe". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on November 17, 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  2. Soe Than Lynn (25 October 2010). "‘Good economists’ needed for parliament". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gillick, Jeremy (July–August 2010). "Letter from Myanmar". Moment. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  4. Khin Nyunt (23 August 2003). "Permission granted for retirement". State Peace and Development Council. Government of Myanmar. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Myo Nyunt. "History". U Hla Tun Hospice (Cancer) Foundation. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  6. "Burma’s Former ‘Economic Czar’ on a Short Leash". The Irrawaddy. November 2006. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  7. "COUNCIL DECISION 2003/461/CFSP of 20 June 2003 implementing Common Position 2003/297/CFSP on Burma/Myanmar". Official Journal of the European Union. 20 June 2003. 
  8. "'Don't Be So Impatient'". Asiaweek. 2000. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  9. Steinberg, David I. (2001). Burma, the State of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press. pp. 73. ISBN 9780878408931. 

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