President starts major government reshuffle


President Thein Sein has started a major reshuffle of his government with a number of reformers being promoted to the Ministry of the President Office.

In the reshuffle four ministers have been moved to the Ministry of the President where they will carry out the work of the president on specific projects he wishes to take forward. The appointment of these key reformers suggests that the pace of reform is likely to speed up. The president has also appointed fifteen Deputy Ministers.

The new appointments mean that the reshuffle is only just under way and many more changes are expected in the next few days with possibly some ministry name changes. The Union Ministers named in this first phase of the reshuffle are as below with their former ministries in brackets:

Soe Thein Ministry of President Office (Industry)
Aung Min Ministry of President Office (Rail Transportation)
Hla Tun Ministry of President Office (Finance and revenue)
Tin Naing Thein Ministry of President Office (National Planning and Economic Development)
Aung Kyi Ministry of Information (Labour)
Kyaw Hsan Ministry of Cooperatives (Information)
Ohn Myint Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (Cooperatives)
Aye Myint Ministry of Industry (Science and Technology)
Tint Hsan Ministry of Sports (Hotels, Tourism and Sport)

A number of commentators are noting that the former Minister of Information, Kyaw Hsan, has been moved to an obscure ministry and replaced by Aung Kyi. The move follows a decision last week by the government to drop pre-publication censorship of the media.

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