Thursday, July 23, 2009

NLD at a 'critical stage': Win Tin

by Myint Maung

New Delhi (mizzima) – A leader of Burma’s opposition party – National League for Democracy (NLD) – said the party’s leadership has reached a 'critical stage' as most members of the party’s executive committee are aging and faced with worsening health.

Win Tin, a veteran journalist and member of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the NLD, said with most CEC party members over the age of 80 and confronting severe health problems, the party is at a crossroads.

“The leaders are already at the age of retirement from party work, but with so many things yet to be done it is difficult for them to retire. They are also facing severe health problems, so the party is at a crossroads,” Win Tin said.

He said with Aung San Suu Kyi and Vice-Chairman Tin Oo still under detention, the party cannot renew its registration and inject young blood into the party’s leadership, as it would essentially remove Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin Oo from the committee.

“With Daw Aung San Suu Kyi still under detention we cannot renew our party registration. And we cannot include more people in the committee, as we would like to do, because the election commissioner will check and we can only renew the registration with the people they approved,” Win Tin explained.

NLD CEC Chairman Aung Shwe, Vice-Chairman U Lwin and members Lun Tin, Nyunt Wei, Hla Pe, Than Tun, Win Tin and Thakin Soe Myint are all in their 80s and 90s and reportedly experiencing increasing health concerns.

“U Aung Shwe is over 90 now. He has not been able to come to the party office for months. I don’t think he can come in the next two to three months either. U Lun Tin’s eyesight and hearing are poor too. He has to be escorted to the office. He is paralyzed and is now confined to his bed. U Hla Pe’s health is also not so good, while U Than Tun suffers from frequent headaches,” elaborated Win Tin.

He added that he himself has been suffering from a heart problem as well as a low pulse rate and low blood pressure, in addition to diabetes and arthritis. He may also have to undergo an operation to combat deteriorating eyesight.

“My heartbeat is only 48 beats per minute. The normal is about 80 beats per minute. I cannot move easily. I get exhausted after taking four or five steps. My physician instructed me not to take liver, innards, tomato and bean sprouts, and to instead take only fish and meat with other healthy foods,” said Win Tin, who has his next medical check-up scheduled for August 3rd.

Yet, despite his poor health, he said he will not forego traveling to Insein prison on Friday, where a special court is to hear final arguments relating to the ongoing trial of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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