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Asia-pacific

Doctors 'very worried' about Aung San Suu Kyi's poor health

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Latest update : 2009-05-09

Burma's opposition leader and democracy advocate Aung San Su Kyi, placed under house arrest by the country's military junta, is suffering from low blood pressure and dehydration. Her doctor is being held by the military for unexplained reasons.

AFP - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is "not in good health" as she cannot eat, while her doctor is being detained by military authorities, her party spokesman told AFP Saturday.
   
The 63-year-old Nobel Laureate, whose detention comes up for renewal in late May, has low blood pressure, is dehydrated and has been placed on an intravenous drip by her doctor's assistant, Nyan Win said.
   
"The lady's not in good health. She cannot eat and she has low blood pressure," Nyan Win said, referring to the party leader. He added that she "has dehydration.  
   
"We are worried very much for the lady's health situation," the National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman said.
   
In her doctor's absence, medical assistant Pyone Moe Ei had spent three hours on Friday afternoon at Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside prison home and has requested permission to return Saturday to renew the intravenous drip, he said.
   
Nyan Win said he did not know why the doctor had been held by authorities since Thursday.
   
Official sources said Thursday that the doctor, Tin Myo Win, had been denied permission to enter the house after waiting several hours to carry out a regular medical check-up on the pro-democracy leader.
   
A day earlier Myanmar authorities arrested a US national after he swam across a lake to the off-limits compound where Aung San Suu Kyi has been isolated under house arrest for most of the past 19 years.
   
State media said the man, identified as John William Yeattaw, spent two days at the house before security forces plucked him from the water as he left at dawn.
   
Official sources on Saturday said the 53-year-old man had slept for two days on the ground floor of Aung San Suu Kyi's house, where her two maids live, and asked the detained leader not to inform authorities he was there.
   
The man's motive remained unclear but official sources have said he is a Vietnam war veteran, while Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer Kyi Win told AFP Yeattaw was an "adventurous" American acting of his own accord.
   
Aung San Suu Kyi lives with her two maids and is allowed only occasional visits from her doctor and lawyer.
   
The opposition leader's latest period of incarceration expires at the end of May and authorities have not said if they intend to extend her sentence, though Western diplomats say she is not likely to be released.
   
Her lawyer Kyi Win said Friday he was still waiting for permission to meet Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time since the NLD said on Tuesday that an appeal against her detention had been rejected.
   
The appeal was lodged last year after Aung San Suu Kyi was given an intravenous drip by her doctor after refusing food deliveries for a month.
   
"We have not much time left for (a further) appeal as her detention will expire soon. I cannot do anything without Daw Suu's instruction. I have to inform her about the letter and ask her desire," he said.
   
The ruling junta are holding elections next year that critics dismiss as a sham to entrench the military's power.
   
Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from standing in the polls and her NLD have announced stiff conditions on their participation including "unconditionally" releasing political prisoners from jail.
 

Date created : 2009-05-09

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