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Corruption inquiry hits ousted junt
- Subject: Corruption inquiry hits ousted junt
- From: nyeinchan@xxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 10:58:00
South China Morning Post
Monday November 24 1997
Corruption inquiry hits ousted junta ministers
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Rangoon
A major corruption investigation has been launched against recently
ousted ministers as Burma's military regime looks to polish its image,
sources said yesterday.
Ex-trade and commerce minister General Tun Kyi, former hotels and tourism
minister Lieutenant-General Kyaw Ba and former agriculture minister Myint
Aung appeared to be under virtual house arrest in Rangoon.
Other former Cabinet members were also being investigated, while senior
aides to various ministers had been detained, the sources said.
It follows the dissolution of the State Law and Order Restoration Council
last weekend, and its replacement with a reconstituted junta, called the
State Peace and Development Council.
Observers in Rangoon saw the re-organisation as a chance to clean up the
junta's image following Burma's admission in July as a member of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
However, it was unlikely that the former senior council members under
investigation would face criminal prosecution, a source close to the
military policy-makers said.
Their previous high rank would probably guarantee them immunity from
serious punishment, but their lesser ranking colleagues could face
General Tun Kyi was considered too influential to face serious charges.
But witnesses said new soldiers had been assigned to the security detail
outside his Rangoon house and he appeared restricted to his home,
although he has been allowed to receive visitors.
There has been no official comment about the investigations, which mark
the first time senior figures in the military Government have been
targeted for corruption.
Graft has been a growing problem in Burma since its economy opened up in
1989 after 26 years of isolation.