Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NLD’s Win Tin Unwell

The Irrawaddy News

Win Tin, a Burmese prominent veteran journalist and leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), is not well. He is resting under medication.

Win Tin, who is 79, has not been at his office after suffering from an abnormal heartbeat since Thursday last week. He received a medical check-up this weekend, which included an x-ray check.

He told The Irrawaddy on Monday, “I have not been able to go to the office since Thursday because I felt very tired if I worked. My heartbeat was around 46-48 times per minute compared to a normal heartbeat of around 70 or 80 times.”

Win Tin spent 19 years in prison without proper meals and medical treatment. He was released from the infamous Insein Prison in September 2008

He has suffered from poor health several times since he was released from prison. His illnesses have included asthma, low blood pressure and heart disease.

During his time in prison, he also suffered from heart and prostate problems. Prison authorities regularly refused to provide him with proper medical care.

Moe Zaw Oo, the secretary of the NLD-LA’s Foreign Affairs Department, who also spent time with Win Tin in prison said, “He [Win Tin] was often sick in prison. The food was poor and not nutritious, and medicine was insufficient. We worried that we would never see him released.”

Win Tin is respected by Burmese people inside and outside Burma. He is an active opposition leader who dares speak out publicly about the current political crisis in Burma. He is an outspoken and media friendly opposition leader.

After release from prison, he suffered from asthma in November 2008 and rested for several days, and he was hospitalized suffering low blood pressure in December 2008.

Win Tin, who was a senior adviser to detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was arrested in 1989 on a series of charges ranging from publishing anti-government propaganda to instigation of civil disobedience.

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