Fri 30 Nov 2007
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
In what, is in all probability a diversionary tactics adopted by the Burmese military junta, it has effected another military reshuffle. Critics feel it is to showcase changes in the regime in the aftermath of the brutal crackdown on September’s monk-led protests, which had invited world-wide wrath.
The junta has promoted Brig. Gen Myint Soe, commander of the Taugup based No. 5 Military Operation Command as the Northwest Military Command commander, sources close to the military establishment said.
Rector of the Defence Service Academy, Brig. Gen Kyaw Swe was promoted as commander of the Southwest Command and his position was filled by Brig. Gen Zeya Aung, commander of Light Infantry Division 88.
While Brig. Gen Tin Ngwe of the War Office General Staff was posted as the commander of the Central Command, the War Office General Staff position was filled in by Brig. Gen Sann Oo, commander of the Maingnaung based No. 2 Military Operation Command.
Kale Regional Operation and Strategic Command commander Col Khin Maung Htay was also promoted as commander of the LID 99.
While there are more promotions in the offing in the military hierarchy, secrecy in the military establishment made it difficult to confirm more of the new postings. The newly appointed commanders were told to join their new posts or report to the Military Headquarters on November 28, sources said.
Prior to the appointment of several new commanders, the junta promoted the former Northwest Command Commander Maj. Gen Thar Aye to Commander of Bureau of Special Operation, former Commander of Central Command Maj. Gen Khin Zaw was promoted to Commander of Bureau of Special Operation 6 and former Commander of Southwest Command Thura Myint Aung was promoted as Adjutant General, sources said.
While the Burmese junta has a penchant for reshuffling its commanders from time to time, some critics view the current reshuffle as an effort to showcase that the junta is implementing some changes even within its own military establishment, sources said.
Win Min, a Thailand based Burma affairs analyst, said, it is about time that the junta promoted some of its commanders like Thar Aye and Thura Myint Aung but since the reshuffle came following the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, it could involve an effort to showcase that the junta is implementing changes.
“By reshuffling some of its commanders the junta wants to give hope to the people that there will be more economic and social stability in the country,” Win Min added.
Besides, the reshuffle could also mean that the junta supremo Than Shwe is strengthening its stranglehold on the military establishment by promoting his loyalists, Win Min said.
“If we look at the reshuffle, we can see that most of the commanders are close to Shwe Mann (who is a close ally of Than Shwe). So it is like, even while going by seniority, it has been carefully planned to choose Than Shwe and Shwe Mann’s allies,” Win Min added, citing a rift in the top brass of the junta between Senior General Than Shwe and Vice Senior General Maung Aye.