In Myanmar's Western Rakhine, New Border Affairs and Security Minister Sworn In

By Min Aung Khine 15 August 2019

SITTWE—Colonel Min Than was sworn into the Rakhine State parliament as a military-appointed lawmaker on Wednesday. He succeeds Col. Phone Tint as the Rakhine State border affairs and security minister. 

Col. Min Than told The Irrawaddy he believes he’ll be able to serve his new position well. 

“It won’t be difficult for me. I have been in the Tatmadaw [the Myanmar military] for 30 years now, and I have handled both administrative and military duties and served as a [military-appointee] Lower House lawmaker,” he said.

“I am close to the political circle and I have also been to many foreign countries, so I believe I will be able to execute this duty properly,” he said.  

According to parliamentary procedures, ministers of local governments are to be appointed from local legislatures; Col. Min Than was nominated to the state parliament by Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu. 

Because the Tatmadaw controls the Border Affairs Ministry at the Union level, the border affairs and security ministers at local governments are appointed by the military. 

Lawmakers wanting to object to the appointment must register by Thursday evening; if no objections are raised, Col. Min Than will be formally appointed as the new border affairs and security minister of Rakhine State. 

Most Rakhine State lawmakers asked by The Irrawaddy said they would not raise objections. 

The profile Col. Min Than presented to the Rakhine State parliament states he is an ethnic Bamar, though unconfirmed reports have claimed he is of mixed Arakanese-Bamar blood. 

He served as a military lawmaker in the Lower House of the Union Parliament from 2016-17 and was a member of the parliamentary committee on the fundamental rights of citizens.  

Col. Phone Tint has been transferred to a military unit. 

Col. Min Than will be the third border affairs and security minister since the new government took office in 2016.

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