Burma’s Information and Health Ministers Step Down

Information Minister Aung Kyi gestures during a press conference in Rangoon in August 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

Information Minister Aung Kyi gestures during a press conference in Rangoon in August 2013. (Photo: Steve Tickner / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burma’s ministers for information and health have been allowed to retire, state television reported Tuesday, in the country’s second cabinet reshuffle in two months.

The evening news read a statement signed by President Thein Sein announcing the resignations of Information Minister Aung Kyi and Health Minister Pe Thet Khin. An official explanation that a minister is permitted to retire is generally taken to mean a resignation under pressure.

No reason was given for the resignations. No replacements were announced.

Aung Kyi was part of the military group that continues to dominate the country’s administration even after elections brought a nominally civilian government to power in 2011. He has a reputation as a moderate and has kept a low profile. Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut has been more in the spotlight because he is also the president’s spokesman and is outspoken on public media.

Although Thein Sein’s government lifted censorship of the media after almost 50 years of repressive military rule, it has recently come under criticism for allowing the persecution of journalists through defamation and other laws.

Pe Thet Khin was a civilian doctor and also cut a low profile.

The last reshuffle in June saw the departure of the religious affairs minister, who was later charged with corruption and sedition. The chief minister for Arakan State, which is plagued by conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims, lost his job at the same time.

Violent conflicts between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims since 2012 have taken more than 280 lives, left more than 140,000 people homeless, and drawn sharp criticism from the international community, which believes the government has failed to crack down on extremists.

3 Responses to Burma’s Information and Health Ministers Step Down

  1. The military and their current puppet government have neglected the health of the nation for over 50 years. They should hang their collective heads in shame for the way they have mismanaged almost everything in regards to the well being of the general population.

  2. Arakan State Chief Minister U Hla Maung Tin has direct reponsibilty regarding violernce in Arakan region. Why RNDP party leading peoples were involved to set fire Muslims village of Pieksek quarter ( also call Kalar Piekseik ) in Kyaukpyu. These peoples are the founder of Kyaukpyu staying there since the centuries, desendent of Arab and Persian settled in thistownshi, so their land are freehold land and under the Grant of many governments. Why these peoples land are not yet given back and make them resettlement? Now they are staying in a devastated conditiones at Thaychaung of Akyab ( Sittwe ) and Sin-na-maw of Kaladan river side in Sittwe. Also many Kyaukpyu Muslims are still keeping at near Kyauktalone
    Phayar area and Sarbyin. It is not fair, one day it can be leaded to un- pleasent situation again or they will fight in the court of laws.

  3. Dancing according to Than Shwe’s tune is ridiculous and awful. Because he does not know about democratic value. Than Shwe just want to see security for his life and for his cronies’ businesses. Thein Sein is not the real president but he dances as his boss wants. Ministers who do not dance according to his tune are sacked and sent home. Former religious minister was charged with corruption and sedition for $ 10000 which is a general’s one day income. Thein Sein is the enemy number one to the people of Myanmar today. He may think he successfully cheated the people but it is far away from what he may think. We all see what evil scheme the regime is pushing to achieve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.