Myanmar sacks 2 more ministers

YANGON — Myanmar President Thein Sein effectively removed Tuesday the influential minister of information and the health minister by issuing orders that “allowed” them to resign, a move that came after his dismissal of another Cabinet member last month.

While no specific reasons were given for the orders to let go of Information Minister Aung Kyi and Health Minister Pe Thet Khin, government sources said the President Office has been unhappy with their performances and received complaints from the respective sectors under their jurisdictions. No replacements have been announced.

The presidential orders signed by Thein Sein himself was broadcast on state TV Tuesday evening and later published on the Ministry of Information’s website. They state the ministers have been “allowed to resign from their respective duties” in accordance with the Constitution and the Union Government Law.

The government normally uses the term “permitted to retire” or “allowed to resign” when sacking Cabinet ministers, Kyodo News said.

Mr Kyi was part of the military group that continues to dominate the country’s administration even after elections brought a nominally civilian government to power in 2011. He has a reputation as a moderate and has kept a low profile, the Associated Press reported.

The President Office is dissatisfied with the information minister’s management of local media, while the entertainment industry has filed complaints with the office about the minister’s handling of industry affairs, other government sources said.

The AP said Mr Khin was a civilian doctor and also cut a low profile. Since earlier this year, many of the roles of the health minister have been taken over by Vice President Sai Mauk Kham after reports that poor health care standards persist in the country despite budget increases, Kyodo reported.

Last month, the president sacked Religious Affairs Minister Hsan Hsint, with an official order saying he is being “terminated” from his position. He was later charged with corruption and sedition. The AP wrote that the chief minister for Rakhine state, which is plagued by conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims, lost his job at the same time.

Violent conflicts between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims since 2012 have taken more than 280 lives, left more than 140,000 people homeless, and drawn sharp criticism from the international community, which believes the government has failed to crack down on extremists.


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