Key Myanmar dept now under civilian control

Activists say GAD is a far-reaching informer network of military chief Min Aung Hlaing. Its transfer still leaves several military alumni in charge.
Activists say GAD is a far-reaching informer network of military chief Min Aung Hlaing. Its transfer still leaves several military alumni in charge.PHOTO: REUTERS

Myanmar's General Administration Department (GAD) has been transferred to a civilian-controlled government ministry, but analysts say the move at the end of last year may just be a cosmetic change for now.

The powerful body continues to wield considerable military influence on everyday life, as it is run by former army personnel and forms the backbone of local bureaucracy.

The transfer has been portrayed as a milestone in Myanmar's government reform, aimed at reducing the military's involvement in politics.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'Key Myanmar dept now under civilian control'. Print Edition | Subscribe