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Questions about "Myanmar junta dism

This AFP wire forwarded by DVB raises some questions:

1) It has Chayachoke Chulasiriwongs saying that the sacking of Sec-3 and 
Tin Hla increases Khin Nyunt's power. Is that so?  I thought Win Myint was 
Khin Nyunt's man. Where does his replacement, Triangle Commander Thein 
Sein, stand vis a vis Khin Nyunt and Maung Aye?

2) The posting of nearly all the regional commanders to Rangoon, if true, 
would be least as important as the replacement of Secretary-3. The regional 
commanders retained their commands when they were brought into the 
newly-formed SPDC in November 1997, presumably to unify central and 
peripheral power and counteract the centrifugal tendencies of an army 
increasingly independent of Rangoon. This growing independence is enabled 
by what the latest ILO report describes diplomatically as the army's policy 
of "self-reliance"  -- what the less diplomatic might call a structural 
reliance on extortion,  forced labour, and land confiscation to keep the 
army in the field and the officers in the money. Will the November 1997 
pattern be maintained, with the new commanders being appointed to the SPDC? 
And what if the old commanders don't want to leave their fiefdoms?

Until we receive the oracular analyses of "The Irrawaddy" and FEER, please 
post any information about Thein Sein's allegiances, and thoughts about the 
regional commanders being called to Rangoon. Is this Khin Nyunt's move, or 
could it be Maung Aye's?

David Arnott

>    Myanmar junta dismisses top generals
>    ATTENTION -with more cabinet changes expected, ADDS details ///
>    YANGON, Nov 10 (AFP) - Myanmar's military government has fired two
>high-ranking officials in what appears to be the most significant shake-up of
>the junta in years, official reports and analysts said Saturday.
>    Third Secretary Lieutenant-General Win Myint of the ruling State Peace and
>Development Council and Lieutenant-General Tin Hla, a deputy prime minister
>and military affairs minister were removed from their posts, the reports said.
>    The reshuffle was ordered by the junta's powerful intelligence chief,
>Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, in statements published by state newspapers
>including the New Light of Myanmar.
>    Both Win Myint, the regime's fourth-ranking general, and Tin Hla had been
>deeply involved in the economic workings of the military state and headed its
>state business enterprises -- Myanmar economic holdings and Myanmar economic
>    No reason was given for their dismissal, and successors have not been 
> named
>for their political posts.
>    Chayachoke Chulasiriwongs, a professor at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn
>University, said the re-shuffle was an attempt to consolidate political power
>rather than bring in new leaders to help the moribund Myanmar economy.
>    "It's one of the most significant shake-ups in the military junta, and at
>the same time establishes the power of Khin Nyunt in the hierarchy,"
>Chayachoke said.
>    "The Myanmar economy is not going well, but this has been going on for
>years. With the reshuffling, it shows that Khin Nyunt is trying to increase
>his power within the government," he said. "He is probably the most powerful
>person now."
>    Local sources say Win Myint, who rose meteorically through the ranks 
> of the
>SPDC, was closely involved in private sector investment projects and was known
>to strong-arm entrepreneurs while the ageing Tin Hla was a respected soldier.
>    The Myanmar leadership was also eager to replenish its ranks with younger
>officers, they added.
>    While their political posts remain vacant, the generals' military duties
>will be taken over by newly-promoted officers, according to a military source
>who said the shake-up extended further down the command chain.
>    Nine regional military commanders would be moved from outlying areas to
>take up new responsibilities in Yangon, the source said.
>    The officers have been described as young front-line leaders who are
>already powerful in their own right.
>    Meanwhile, a military source said late Saturday that further cabinet
>changes were in the offing, with several ministers expected to be sacked
>    Cabinet ministers in charge of construction and industry would likely be
>replaced, they added.
>    Myanmar has lived under military rule since 1962, and the current military
>government took power after rejecting results of 1990 elections won by
>democracy leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
>    The military regime has held the opposition leader under house arrest for
>the past year after she attempted to go to the northern city of Mandalay in
>defiance of a travel ban.
>    The pro-democracy party has demanded the release of an estimated 1,500
>political prisoners still being held in Myanmar's jails.
>    kmt-dlv/hw

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