Daw Aung San Suu Kyi un­well af­ter re­turn­ing from the US

The state coun­sel­lor is tak­ing a rest af­ter her ex­tended trav­els abroad, with of­fi­cials from her min­istry work­ing over­time to stanch ru­mours that her ill­ness is at­trib­ut­able to any­thing other than gas­tri­tis.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - Shun­lei­win95@gmail.com SHOON NAING

DAW Aung San Suu Kyi’s two-week trip abroad ended with a frenzy of spec­u­la­tion and of­fi­cial as­sur­ances that the state coun­sel­lor’s health was not in se­ri­ous ques­tion af­ter she was re­port­edly seen ar­riv­ing at Yan­gon In­ter­na­tional Air­port in a wheel­chair on Septem­ber 25.

So­cial me­dia was abuzz yes­ter­day as photos pur­port­edly show­ing the 71-year-old in a wheel­chair cir­cu­lated on­line. The au­then­tic­ity of the images could not be in­de­pen­dently ver­i­fied by The Myan­mar Times.

A throng of sup­port­ers gath­ered to wel­come her at the air­port on the evening of Septem­ber 25, when poor light­ing made the health con­di­tion of Myan­mar’s de facto leader dif­fi­cult to as­cer­tain, with the en­su­ing un­cer­tainty fu­elling spec­u­la­tion on­line.

But Na­tional League for Democ­racy cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber U Win Htein told The Myan­mar Times that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s health con­di­tion was “noth­ing se­ri­ous”.

“There is noth­ing se­ri­ous with her health sit­u­a­tion. It is fine,” he said yes­ter­day.

The Of­fice of the State Coun­sel­lor also sought to al­lay fears over Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s well-be­ing, re­leas­ing a state­ment that de­tailed symp­toms stem­ming from her rig­or­ous over­seas itin­er­ary.

“Af­ter check­ing the health con­di­tion with doc­tors, there was only weak­ness [caused by] not be­ing able to rest dur­ing the busy sched­ule, a stom­ach-ache from not be­ing able to eat prop­erly and hav­ing aches from us­ing the com­puter for a long time,” read the state­ment, adding that there was no cause for se­ri­ous con­cern about her con­di­tion.

Ahead of the state coun­sel­lor’s re­turn, the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion an­nounced on Septem­ber 25 that a meet­ing be­tween her and prom­i­nent busi­ness­peo­ple sched­uled for Septem­ber 28 in Nay Pyi Taw would be post­poned. In­ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tions for the event was cited as the rea­son for the reschedul­ing, how­ever.

A for­mer spokesper­son for then­pres­i­dent U Thein Sein, U Ye Htut, took to Face­book yes­ter­day to crit­i­cise what he said was an overly de­mand­ing over­seas itin­er­ary.

“Pres­i­dent U Thein Sein was also in his 70s, the same age as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. And he has a ma­chine in his heart,” he said, re­fer­ring to U Thein Sein’s pace­maker. “When the [for­mer] For­eign Min­is­ter U Wunna Maung Win ar­ranged the pres­i­dent’s trip plans, he al­ways thought about avoid­ing a sit­u­a­tion of con­tin­u­ous work­ing.”

He added that the health scare served to high­light the cur­rent gov­ern­ment’s struc­ture with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as its fo­cal point, ad­vis­ing a re­think to bet­ter del­e­gate au­thor­ity to lower lev­els of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Sev­eral calls from The Myan­mar Times to Dr Tin Myo Win, the state coun­sel­lor’s per­sonal physi­cian, went unan­swered yes­ter­day.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi de­parted for Lon­don on Septem­ber 10 and flew days later to Washington, where she met US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and joined sev­eral other events, in­clud­ing a tour of the cap­i­tal’s Na­tional Mall. She ad­dressed the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York on Septem­ber 21.

PHOTO: EPA

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