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Officials sacked after Than Shwe visit

Jan 15, 2009 (DVB), Provincial and township administration officials in Zalun township have been dismissed after junta leader senior general Than Shwe was left disappointed by his trip to the Irrawaddy town at the end of last year.

A Zalun resident told DVB that State Peace and Development Council leader Than Shwe, who visited the town on 30 December 2008, had not been greeted by local residents and government employees when he arrived.

"[Than Shwe] was very disappointed as he was not greeted by anyone on his arrival to the town," the local resident said.

"On 1 January, an order came from Naypyidaw which announced the dismissal of the township Peace and Development Council chairman and the re-assignment of the provincial PDC chairman to another post."

The resident said locals did not have much affection for the junta leader.

"If someone we love visits our town, then the whole town will come out and greet him or her without any orders from anyone," he said.

"We just didn’t greet Than Shwe as he wasn’t someone who would bring good things to us."

The Zalun resident said the SPDC leader was also disappointed when he visited the historic Zalun pagoda in the town to light candles and pay homage.

"The lighter prepared for him by the pagoda administration didn't work when he tried to light the candles," the resident said.

"He was very angry about that and now we are hearing rumours that the pagoda administration staff are going to be fired too," he went on.

"All the lighters at the pagoda had been specially prepared for him so there should have been no problems with them normally," he said.

"But they only didn’t work when Than Shwe used them and people are saying this is a bad omen for Than Shwe as it suggests the fuel to light his life is running very low."

Some town residents speculated that the sacking of local administration officials could also have been due to the low number of ‘Yes’ votes during the May 2008 constitutional referendum in Zalun, Hinthada and Lay Myat Hnar townships.

Zalun township PDC was unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw


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