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Myanmar's junta reshuffles Yangon commanders

Jjunta has reshuffled commanders controlling forces around Yangon in a move to tighten strongman Than Shwe's grip on power.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 19:21 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Myanmar's ruling military junta has reshuffled commanders controlling forces around Yangon in a move aimed at tightening strongman Than Shwe's grip on power, a source close to the armed forces said on Friday.

Lieutenant General Myint Swe had left his post as chief of the Yangon Command to head special operations around the capital and would remain in his post as chief of military security affairs, the source said.

Brigadier General Hla Htay Win would replace Myint Swe, the source said.

Both men are aged in their fifties, relatively young for a junta headed by men mostly aged in their seventies.

The reshuffle was not expected to usher in overt political change but was seen by analysts as another move by Senior General Than Shwe, Myanmar's military supremo, to shore up power by promoting a younger generation of loyal generals.

"I do not consider any personnel changes within the military as a harbinger for political change," independent politician Win Naing said.

Than Shwe has reshuffled top commanders a number of times since ousting prime minister Khin Nyunt in October 2004.

Khin Nyunt had led the feared military intelligence apparatus but was sacked and his spy network dismantled in a purge that landed a number of once-influential figures in prison or under house arrest.

The latest changes come as the junta presses ahead with plans to relocate military headquarters and government ministries to a new administrative capital outside the mountainous central town of Pyinmana, about 320 kilometres (200 miles) north of Yangon.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 19:14 IST