Deputy minister for agriculture fired after cabinet dispute


NAY PYI TAW — U Htun Win, deputy minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation, has been fired from his role by President U Htin Kyaw.

He told Frontier that he had received a letter from the President’s Office dated November 18 informing him that he was released from his duty, but that no official reason was given.

“The government has a responsibility to explain what happened,” Htun Win said at a meeting with reporters at his home in Nay Pyi Taw on November 19.

Htun Win suspected the move was related to arguments he had had with Minister Dr Aung Thu in recent months. He said the arguments were related to water distribution from the Yesin dam in Pyinmana Township, Nay Pyi Taw, to be used for paddy cultivation, as well as a suggestion to create fish farms in dams. They also argued about a proposal to pump water from the Ayeyarwady River to produce crops. His ideas had angered the minister, he said.

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About two months ago, he said that National League for Democracy Central Executive Committee member U Win Htein had contacted him, telling him to transfer to a different role. He refused because he had done nothing wrong, he said.

On November 17, after three rounds of discussions with Win Htein, he received a letter from the President’s Office telling him to resign from his post or be dismissed. Because he said he had done nothing wrong, he refused to resign. The following day, his dismissal was announced. 

Representatives from the President’s Office and Win Htein refused to comment on the matter.

Htun Win said he was accused of a lack of cooperation but had not had the chance to explain his view.

He was appointed as deputy minister by the president on May 2 and is the first top official to be dismissed by the NLD government.

Under Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution, political party representatives are barred from involvement in government affairs.

By Nyan Hlaing Lynn

By Nyan Hlaing Lynn

Nyan Hlaing Lynn is a former editor at People's Age Journal and Mizzima. He writes about politics, the military, ethnic conflict and social issues and is based in Nay Pyi Taw.
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