Tuesday, June 2, 2009

DG of Meteorology and Hydrology Department resigns

by May Kyaaw

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Dr. Tun Lwin, the Director General of Burma’s Meteorology and Hydrology Department has tendered his resignation, departmental sources said.

Though the reason for his resignation is still not clear, it is learnt that the 61-year old Dr. Tun Lwin has begun to hand over charge to his successor.

“Saya (boss) is not working here now. He resigned from his post on health grounds,” a staff member of the Meteorology Department told Mizzima.

Dr. Tun Lwin had also been working as announcer of the weather forecast in the state-media since 1980 in his capacity as DG.

Till Cyclone Nargis, he was known as a credible and reliable person relating to weather forecast. He was also known in media circles as a media-friendly person.

After the contentious Cyclone Nargis warning in May 2008 where the department failed to provide warning in time through the media, he became the epitome of failure. He was in short, in the eye of the storm.

According to unconfirmed reports from sources close to government circles, in the wake of Cyclone Nargis the regime planned to sack him and make him a scapegoat. But surprisingly he was conferred with a doctorate degree instead and he became Dr. Tun Lwin of the Meteorology and Hydrology Department.

According to civil service rules and regulations in Burma, the superannuation age is 65. He surprisingly retired from his post at 61.

Dr. Tun Lwin was born in Kala village, Ngazun Township, Sagaing Division in 1948.

He graduated with Physics as his major in Burma and then studied Meteorology and Hydrology in Florida, US.

He won the Distinguished Service 2nd Class medal in Industry in 2003 and the regime conferred on him a honourary doctorate degree in 2008.

He served as a permanent member of the International Meteorology and Hydrology Association in 2006 and Asia Region Natural Disaster Prevention and Preparation Council, Burma Chapter Chairman in 2007.

(Additional reporting by Sein Win)

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