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Published on Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:49
Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut seen at the 11th anniversary dinner of Eleven Media Group (Photo - EMG)
The President’s Office has appointed Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut as its first spokesman.
Under the previous regime, the information minister was the head of the government's mouthpiece. Thus, the appointment of a deputy minister as spokesman has raised eyebrows.
Ye Htut served as a lieutenant colonel for the Defence Services before taking up the post for deputy director-general at the Information and Public Relations Department under the Ministry of Information. He was later promoted as director-general of the department, which has been viewed as a propaganda machine for the military government.
Under former information minister Kyaw Hsan, Ye Htut was involved in carrying out the "fight media with media" policy.
After Kyaw Hsan was transferred to the Ministry of Cooperatives last August, President Thein Sein appointed former labour minister Aung Kyi as information minister and Ye Htut as deputy minister.
As a regular user of Facebook, Ye Htut often shares news from the government and the military as well as posts his opinion on issues. He also replies to some comments and provide explanations to readers.
Recently, he addressed criticisms on the publication of state-owned newspapers on Facebook.
Meanwhile, a Facebook account with the username Sit Aung has surfaced using Ye Htut's photo. Sit Aung often makes slanderous posts about opposition parties including Aung San Suu Kyi and the media.