BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar’s military has reshuffled the country’s ruling council and Cabinet, state media reported Tuesday, with an apparent purge of two high-ranking generals who independent media have said are under investigation for alleged corruption.
The military's top ruling body, formally known as State Administration Council, has directed four reshuffles since the army seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government more than 2 1/2 years ago. The country has been in turmoil since then, with widespread armed resistance to army rule.
The latest changes, carried out Monday, came a few weeks after army Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moe Myint Tun and Lt.-Gen. Soe Htut, both council members, were reportedly being investigated in the capital Naypyitaw for corruption. Soe Htut had served in the important job of home affairs minister from 2020 until last month, when he assumed a less influential post.
The report on the reshuffle in Tuesday’s state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said the council’s new members are Gen. Maung Maung Aye, chief of the general staff of the combined armed forces, and Lt.-Gen. Nyo Saw, an adviser to Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who is the head of the military, the council and the government.
Myoe Myint Tun and Soe Htut's names were absent from the new list of council members that was published in the newspaper, which did not say about their removal. Soe Htut also lost his Cabinet post.
Independent online news sites including Myanmar Now and The Irrawaddy reported that Moe Myint Tun, who chaired three major economic supervisory bodies, has been under investigation since early this month following the arrests of scores of businesspeople who allegedly bribed him and his subordinates.
Myanmar Now said Moe Myint Tun and his subordinates allegedly made millions of dollars from their dealings with traders working in the fuel and cooking oil industries. Myanmar Now said Soe Htut had reportedly been placed on “medical leave” due to allegations that he profited from his position during his previous tenure as home affairs minister.
The report in the Global New Light of Myanmar said the council also shook up the Cabinet.
In theory, the Cabinet is the nation’s top administrative body, in practice has less power than the military-dominated council. Its power is diminished further under a state of emergency, which allows the military to assume all government functions, and gives legislative, judicial and executive powers to its chief, Min Aung Hlaing.