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Burma Announces Cabinet Reshuffles

ANGOON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Burma's new military government on Saturday
announced a surprise cabinet reshuffle which changed several key financial

State-run television said late on Saturday the State Peace and Development
Council (SPDC) -- formed last month in a sudden government change which
abolished the former ruling military body -- had shuffled eight ministers and
added a new figure to the cabinet. 

A proclamation issued by SPDC Secretary One Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt
moved Brigadier General David Abel from Minister for National Planning and
Economic Development to Minister in the Office of the Chairman of the SPDC. 

Soe Tha, previously Minister for Telecommunications, Posts and Telegraphs,
replaced Abel as the minister in charge of foreign investment. 

Brigadier General Win Tin moved from the finance portfolio to replace Soe Tha.

Khin Maung Tha will become the new Minister for Finance and Revenue and he
will be replaced as Minister of Energy by a new addition to the cabinet --
Brigadier General Lun Thi. 

Than Aung replaces Pan Aung as education minister while Aung San, previously
Minister for Culture, replaces Than Aung as Minister for Cooperatives. The new
Minister of Culture will be Win Sein, who is replaced by Pan Aung as Minister
for Rail Transport. 

All the shuffled ministers were members of the former cabinet which was
dissolved last month when the SPDC replaced and abolished the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC). 

The top four leaders of the SLORC remained at the head of the new ruling body,
the SPDC. 

The SLORC had ruled the country since it seized power in 1988 after crushing
pro-democracy uprisings. 

This is the third major change in the government over the past month. In
addition to the change of name, the government also abolished the advisory
group that had been created during the November government change. 

The group was made up of 14 people, most of whom were former SLORC ministers. 

Local analysts said the latest changes came as a surprise and were probably an
attempt to better allocate the more important portfolios. ^REUTERS@ 

10:24 12-20-97