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New President sworn in, junta disbands

world Updated: Mar 30, 2011 14:10 IST

Myanmar's new President was sworn in Wednesday, officially launching a new administration to replace the military junta that has ruled the country for the past two decades.

Thein Sein was sworn in as Myanmar's new president in a ceremony held in Naypyitaw, the country's capital since 2005. He replaces Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar junta chief since 1992, as the new head of state.

Vice Presidents Tin Aung Myint Oo and Sai Mauk Kham were also sworn in to their posts.

"The State Peace and Development Council will be immediately dissolved after the swearing-in ceremony," Than Shwe said in a noon announcement on state-controlled television.

The new cabinet lineup was announced, including a host of ex-military men, many of whom were cabinet members under the junta, starting with General Thein Sein, who was former prime minister.

Major General Hla Min was named the new defence minister, Lieutenant General Ko Ko as home minister, and Major General Thein Htay became minister of border affairs.

The new foreign minister was Wunna Maung Lwin, information minister was Kyaw Hsan and finance minister was Tin Naing Thein, all former military men.

Myanmar has been under the junta's rule since 1988 when the army crushed a pro-democracy movement, killing up to 3,000 people.

The junta held a general election Nov 7 that voted in a new government, led by the pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party.

The polls were widely criticised by western democracies for excluding opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest at the time of the election, and her National League for Democracy party that won the previous election of 1990 by a landslide.