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SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST(17/7/95):
Subject: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST(17/7/95): SLORC CABINET RESHUFFLES
BURMA: JUNIORS TO THE FORE AS CABINET EXPANDS.
THE military dictatorship has expanded and reshuffled its Cabinet in a move
analysts see as making way for the promotion of more junior officers.
The state-owned press in the capital Rangoon yesterday carried
front-page reports of the reshuffle, which moved the powerful commanders of
four key army regions and the army operations commanders and quartermaster
into the Cabinet.
The reshuffle followed a pattern frequently seen in Burma - the
ministers replaced by the army men were transferred to other positions in
the Government - although the scale of the transfers was larger than usual.
The ruling generals expanded the Cabinet to 36 rather than retire
members to accommodate six senior army commanders.
There have been no significant sign so far that the move has been
undertaken to quell dissension or to promote any particular clique within
All but five members of the expanded Cabinet are soldiers;
displaced officials, like construction minister Khin maung Yin and light
industry minister Than Shwe, have been "kicked upstairs" to become members
of the Prime Minister's office or junta chairman's office.
There was no immediate indication of who would take over the vacant
army regional commands.
Losing an army command is considered a backward career move within
the regime because of the loss of political leverage and greater
opportunities for graft.
The ruling elite sit in the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) rather than in the Cabinet.
In the reshuffle, Lieutenent-General Maung Hla, the army operations
commander, was appointed to the newly-created immigration and population
ministry, while the army quartermaster, Lieutenant-General Min Thein, was
named aminister in the office of the SLORC chairman.
The Army's central region commander, Major-General Kyaw Than, was
appointed to head the light industry ministry, while his eastern regoin
counterpart, Major-General Saw Tun, was given the construction ministry.
The northern region commander, Major-General Aye Kyaw, was named
information minister, and the southern commander, Major-General Soe Myint,
was appointed to the social welfare, relief and resettlement ministry.
Three outgiong ministers were assigned to the offices of the SLORC
chairman (Brigadier-General Myo Thant, ex-information), the Prime Minister
(Than Shwe, ex-industry) and the deputy premier (Khin Maung YIn,
The outgoing minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement
was nemed culture minister, while the culture minister was appointed to the
security management committee. Nearly 50 guerillas from the last major
ethnic group fighting the junta, the Karen National Union, have
surrendered, the state-owned newspaper the New Light of Myanmar reported
A reliable Rangoon source also said the junta was about to finalise
a cease-fire agreement with ethnic Mon rebels based along the Thai-Burma
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST