Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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‘Reformers’ promoted by Burmese gov’t

A number of reformers have been promoted or given new assignments by Burma's President Thein Sein in a Cabinet reshuffle designed to speed up and streamline the implementation of democratic reforms.

Burmese President Thein Sein
Burmese President Thein Sein Photo: President's office
On Monday, Thein Sein awarded several of his key ministers additional posts in the Office of the President, according to an announcement on the president’s website.

Former Minister of Industry Soe Thein, former Minister of Rail Transportation  Aung Min, former Minister of Finance and Revenue Hla Tun and former Minister of National Planning and Economic Development  Tin Naing Thein were all reassigned as ministers at the President's Office.

Information Minister Kyaw Hsan who was widely seen as close to the former military junta, was replaced by Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi, who represented the government in talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

According to various reports, Ohn Myint, who currently holds two posts, the Minister of Cooperatives and Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, was reappointed as Minister of Livestock and Fisheries.

Former Minister of Science and Technology Aye Myint was named as Minister of Industry, replacing Soe Thein.

Former Minister of Hotels and Tourism and former Minister of Sports Tint Hsan was reassigned to remain as Minister of Sports.

Fifteen new deputy ministers are also being appointed.

“This is just the beginning, more will come. This is not the final,” the director of the president's office told VOA.

Thant Myint-U, a historian and one of the leading experts on the country, said the changes were “the major reshuffle that’s long been expected,” according to an article on Monday in The New York Times.

“Many of the changes and additions are in the key economic ministries, a reflection of the president’s focus on getting the economy into some kind of shape after decades of mismanagement,” Thant Myint-U said.

The move is a sign that Thein Sein has been successful in weakening the staunch conservative elements of the former military government, which exercised draconian control over the country for decades.

Since taking power in March 2011, Thein Sein has released hundreds of political prisoners, eased press restrictions, and allowed Aung San Suu Kyi to successfully run for Parliament.

The President Office listed the new deputy ministers, of whom four of the 15 are women:

(1). Dr. Khin San Yi (Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development)
(2) Su Su Hlaing (Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement)
(3) Dr. Thein Htay (Health)
(4) Dr. Thet Thet Zin (Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry)
(5) Police Chief Kyaw Kyaw Tun (Ministry of Home Affairs)
(6) Pite Htwe (Ministry of Information)
(7) Than Swe (Ministry of Culture)
(8) Aung Thein (Ministry of President Office)
(9) Dr. Lin Aung (Ministry of Finance and Revenue)
(10) Sat Aung (Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development)
(11) Thaung Tin (Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs)
(12) Htin Aung (Ministry of Energy)
(13) Brigadier General Win Myint (Ministry of Immigration and Population)
(14) Aye Myint Maung (Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry)
(15) Thaung Htike (Ministry of Sports)

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