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Reports: Burma's Prime Minister Fired - 2004-10-19

Reports from Burma say Prime Minister Khin Nyunt has been removed from his position and placed under house arrest. Officials in Thailand first announced the development Tuesday in Bangkok.

Thai government spokesman, Jakrapob Penkair, tells VOA his government began receiving reports early Tuesday that Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt had been fired, but he adds that the situation is still not clear. "We learned by far that there was a change in the premiership of Burma and General Khin Nyunt has been put under house arrest," he said.

Diplomats in Rangoon say the rumor spread quickly but the capital was quiet and people were waiting for official confirmation. General Khin Nyunt was the third ranking leader in Burma's military junta until he was appointed prime minister last year and tasked with implementing a road map to bring democracy to Burma.

There have been reports of tensions between Khin Nyunt and senior junta leaders, Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye, over the prime minister's efforts to mediate with pro-democracy activists and ethnic minorities.