One Blood, One Voice, One Command

By Wai Moe

Friday,June 27,2008

The June 20 shakeup in the Burmese armed forces has raised the question of whether the top military leaders are at loggerheads.

Though not confirmed officially, as many as 150 military officers were reportedly reassigned in last week’s reshuffle. In addition, four lieutenant-generals who headed the bureaus of special operations (BSOs) were given retirement, though initial reports suggest that some BSO commanders are resisting the order to retire.

Speculation about a shake-up within the Tatmadaw (armed forces) has been rife for months.

Larry Jagan, a British journalist who specializes in Burma, wrote in The Asia Times on March 27 that the regular army commanders’ meeting could not be held for nine months due to rising tension between Snr-Gen Than Shwe and the number two general, vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye.
Continue reading

Lt-Gen Myint Swe: Future No 2?

By Min Lwin

Friday,June 27,2008

Amid recent reshuffling of key military posts in Burma, military observers and exiled dissidents are focusing their attention on Lt-Gen Myint Swe, who some say is slated to replace Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye as the ruling regime’s second-most powerful figure.

Myint Swe, the chief of the Bureau of Special Operations 5 (BSO-5), has played a prominent role in some of the key events in the junta’s recent history.

In 2002, as the head of Rangoon Regional Command, he played a part in the arrest of family members of former dictator Ne Win.

Continue reading

Sign up or shut up

Behind the Headlines
By BUNN NAGARA

The Asean charter is too important to have some member countries dither over pet words.

MORE than six months after the Asean charter was signed in Singapore, nearly half the 10 member countries have still to ratify it. Initial enthusiasm over the only document to give Asean a legal identity has led to an anti-climax.

Holdout countries Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar seem to have their own reasons for the delay, with the perception that it concerns the common issue of democracy.

Thailand may be an exception here in still having to find itself and locate its bearings on the charter. When it signed on in November last year, it was in something of a transition over issues like democracy, and may still be trying to identify its posture.

Continue reading

Private and public health can grow in tandem

Q&A: Private and public health can grow in tandem

Malaysiakini Andrew Ong | Jun 28, 08

Nutritionist turned politician Liow Tiong Lai was appointed the new health minister after the March election and he has been a busy man since.

However, he still obliged to a 70-minute long interview with Malaysiakini at his office in Kuala Lumpur during the parliament session lunch break.

Barely three months on the job, Liow appears to be well-versed with his new portfolio as he gave a preview of his plans ahead to improve the healthcare system in the country.

The soft-spoken Liow also opined that the burgeoning private healthcare system would complement the government’s effort to improve healthcare in general.

Continue reading