Thein Sein reshuffles Cabinet

Aug. 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM
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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Myanmar's reform-minded President Thein Sein reshuffled his Cabinet, bringing in people who can help strengthen his office.

The long-awaited reshuffle by the president of the new government, which replaced the decades-old military junta, comes at a time when he needs to bring about reforms to undo damage from the junta rule and win more support from the West.

The New York Times reported the Cabinet changes gave Thein Sein's allies key positions.

"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," historian U Thant Myint-U told the Times.

The reshuffle transferred three of Thein Sein's top lieutenants to the office of the president, the report said. They included Railways Minister Aung Min, who has been involved in peace negotiations with the country's minority groups to ensure the unity of the country. Many ethnic groups have signed cease-fire agreements in recent months.

The other two are Minister of National Planning and Economic development U Tin Naing Thein, and Industry Minister U Soe Thein, who has been involved in spurring foreign investment and creating special economic zones, the Times said.

Information Minister U Kyaw Hsan, who had been involved in controlling the media during the junta days, was given a less influential post of overseeing the remaining cooperatives, while his successor will be Aung Kyi, who had served as liaison with popular opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi when the latter was under house arrest. Suu Kyi is now a Parliament member.

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