Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Major general’s sacking example of clean government?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 17:13 Ko Pauk

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The sacking of former Major General Tin Ngwe, a chief of Bureau of Special Operations, by the new Burmese government is being viewed by some as an example to encourage clean government, say Burma observers.

Although the reason to dismiss Major General Tin Ngwe was not publically disclosed, he was believed to be in line to become commander in chief of Defense Services.

Rumours said that he was dismissed because he was involved in land corruption deals in Aung Pinle in Mandalay when he was the Central Command commander

Former Major General Tin Ngwe is known as a close associate of former junta leader Senior-General Than Shwe and Vice Senior-General Maung Aye.

“Although he was a close associate of the junta’s top leaders, there was proof that he was involved in corruption––that’s why he was sacked,” said Aung Kyaw Zaw, a Burma observer. “Generally, all top military officers were involved in corruption, but the amount of money may be different. Maybe his corruption was very clear and the information was spread in Rangoon, so he was dismissed.”

The former general was also involved in corruption in selling land in Pyigyitagun and Chanmyathazi in Mandalay to associates, a local resident told Mizzima.

“When he was about to leave his Central Command position, he sold some land to his associates at amazingly cheap prices.  When the next commander took the position, problems arose. In some cases, same plots were sold to two or three people,” he said.

A resident in Aung Pinle said that Tin Ngwe also sold some plots near 48th Road and 49th Road, on which authorities planned to build stadiums, schools and gardens.

“He divided large plots into smaller plots and sold them. He also prepared the land near 35th Road and sold it,” he said.

He said land traders carried out the land deals. “Traders in the city sold the land, most of them plots worth hundreds of millions of kyat. But others got that money.”

The resident said, on the other hand, that the commander’s reputation was not tainted by corruption during the time he was in the area.

“The traders said that there were very little problems when he was commander. And they heard that he was rarely involved in the corruption,” he said.

Under the former junta, commanders were like regional kings and most of them were involved in corruption, observers said.

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