Military Insider Selected as Myanmar’s President – New York Times

On February 4, 2011, in General, Latest News, by admin

BANGKOK — A former prime minister and long-time adjutant to Myanmar ’s military dictator was elected president on Friday by the country’s newly inaugurated Parliament, a move that cements the military’s control of a new political system. Thein Sein, a career army bureaucrat who as prime minister was the public face of the military government, won more than 60 percent of votes in the two-chamber Parliament, news agencies reported from Myanmar.

BANGKOK — A former prime minister and long-time adjutant to Myanmar’s military dictator was elected president on Friday by the country’s newly inaugurated Parliament, a move that cements the military’s control of a new political system.

Thein Sein, a career army bureaucrat who as prime minister was the public face of the military government, won more than 60 percent of votes in the two-chamber Parliament, news agencies reported from Myanmar.

After its first week of parliamentary sessions, a picture has emerged of Myanmar’s self-styled democracy: secretive, heavily scripted and dominated by the hierarchy of the outgoing junta.

After nearly five decades of military rule, the new political system, including elections last November and a new Constitution, were meant to usher in a return to civilian rule.

But of the top five political positions under the new system — the president, two vice presidents and the speakers of the lower and upper houses of Parliament — four are former senior military officers.

Mr. Thein Sein is regarded as a low-key administrator but is perhaps best known within the military for his fealty to Than Shwe, the country’s aging senior general, who now appears to be taking a behind-the-scenes advisory role similar to Deng Xiaoping in China during that country’s transition to a market economy.

As commander in chief and head of the junta Gen. Than Shwe has wielded near absolute power in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, since he took over in 1992.

“How much will he be involved in day-to-day affairs? This is the most important question in Burmese politics today,” said Aung Naing Oo, deputy director of the Vahu Development Institute, a research organization based in Thailand. “How much will he remain in the shadows or how much does he want to impose his authority on the new government — we don’t know.”

Mr. Thein Sein must now select his cabinet, although observers say many of the choices have already been made, with some ministers reportedly picked by Gen. Than Shwe himself, according to Win Min, a professor at Payap University in Thailand who is on leave in the United States.

“It’s become clear that Than Shwe will remain the most powerful person,” Mr. Win Min said. “People believe that where Than Shwe is, the power will follow.”

Among other appointments this week, Thura Shwe Man, a senior member of the junta, was elected speaker of the lower house of Parliament and Khin Aung Myint, a retired general, ran unopposed and became speaker of the upper house. The two vice presidents are Tin Aung Myint Oo, a former member of the junta, and Sai Mauk Kham, a medical doctor from the ethnic Shan minority.

The proceedings this week — the first meeting of a Parliament in Myanmar in more than two decades — have been highly choreographed, with only sketchy details reported in the state media. Reporters for foreign news agencies have been banned from Parliament.

In a country where large popular uprisings have challenged the military at least twice in recent history, the senior generals appear continually wary of threats to their power.

State media has run ample coverage of international news — everything from the war in Afghanistan to allegations that the actress Lindsay Lohan stole a necklace from a jewelry shop in California — but has not mentioned the protests in Egypt or the upheaval in Tunisia.

“They don’t want people to get the idea that protesters can overthrow a government,” Mr. Win Min said.

Gen. Than Shwe warned in a bold-faced article on Friday’s front page of the government’s mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar, that “external elements” were seeking to mobilize the local population “to disrupt national development.”

“I would like to urge the entire people to guard the nation with political awareness against any forms of disruptions in order that the mother country’s independence and sovereignty will never be under alien influence,” Gen. Than Shwe said.


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Halle Berry’s Daughter Was "Traumatized" After A Visit With Gabriel Aubry

On February 3, 2011, in Celeb, by admin

More details have emerged since Halle Berry’s friends have publicly said the actress was afraid for her daughter Nahla’s safety under ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry’s care. Sources have told People that the actress sensed something was wrong around Christmas when Aubry came to pick up their 2-year-old

Halle Berry's Daughter Was "Traumatized" After A Visit With Gabriel Aubry

More details have emerged since Halle Berry’s friends have publicly said the actress was afraid for her daughter Nahla’s safety under ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry’s care.

Sources have told People that the actress sensed something was wrong around Christmas when Aubry came to pick up their 2-year-old.

“She was crying and kicking and screaming,” claims one source. “She was hanging onto her mother’s legs so she didn’t have to go.”

Allegedly, when Berry tried to calm their daughter down, Aubry became impatient.

The insider says, “He got Nahla and forced her into the car.”

However, this was not the first time the toddler has been upset. A source reveals that after visiting her dad another time, she appeared “traumatized”.

Aubry recently responded to Berry’s claims by stating that he was disappointed that she would “falsely malign him publicly and for her own purposes.”

A source close to Aubry says, “Those who know Gabriel well fortunately don’t believe a thing about what is being said.”

Photos: Fame

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