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‘I quit the army because I’m not proud’

Feb 1, 2010 (DVB), A Burmese junior officer has blamed government policy after deserting the army and fleeing to a location on the Thai-Burmese border.

"When it comes to the conflict between the soldiers and the public resulting from the implementation of the government’s policies, the public sees it as the action of our army, not as of the government," said Lieutenant Yeh Htet.

"I quit the army mainly because I am unable to be proud of being a soldier anymore."

The 23-year-old from Burma's eastern Karen state added that families of soldiers are also finding it hard to survive due to a lack proper support from top generals. Moreover, the majority of soldiers want to retire from the army but are not allowed to, except on medical grounds.

His defection coincided with the emergence of reports of reshuffles of commanders, mainly at strategic departments and ‘troublesome’ areas of Burma.

Colonel Aung Linn Dway of Burmese Army headquarters Registry Office in Naypyidaw is appointed Sittwe Regional Operations Command and deputy chair for Arakan State's Peace and Development Council.

Northwestern Command’s chief Colonel San Aung is appointed director of the Transport Projects Administration while Colonel San Myint Oo of Armoured Operations Command 74 is transferred to the post of director for the Inland Transportations Department.

Tenessarim Division's Naval Base in-charge Brigadier General Thura Thet Swe is now commander-in-chief of Naval Headquarters in Naypyidaw.

Deputy chief of Northeastern Command Brigadier General Hla Myint is appointed chief of recently troubled Laogai [Kokang] Military Administrative Command. His old position is taken up by chief-of-staff of Infantry, Colonel Win Thein.

Moe Meik Tactical Operations Command's chief Colonel Khin Maung Maw, under the control of Northern Regional Military Command, is appointed Eastern Command's chief.

His position is taken up by Lieutenant Colonel Win Min Htun of the Army Administration Grade One [Management Department].

Reporting by Min Lwin and AKT

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