Myanmar allows octogenarian prisoner a heart checkup

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 14:11 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Myanmar's ruling junta on Sunday allowed a heart specialist to make a house call on political prisoner Tin Oo, 81, who has been under detention in his Yangon home for almost four years, sources said.

Tin Oo, vice chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party, requested a medical checkup shortly after authorities sentenced him to another year under house arrest starting February 13, political activists said.

On Sunday, Doctor San Lwin, a heart specialist, visited Tin Oo at his Yangon home. The diagnosis on Tin Oo's health was not announced.

Tin Oo, a former army officer once involved in a foiled coup against former military strongman Ne Win, is the second most powerful opposition figure in Myanmar, also known as Burma, after Aung San Suu Kyi, who heads the NLD.

Both Suu Kyi and Tin Oo have been under house arrest since May, 2003, after they led an NLD tour of the Myanmar countryside that was ended by an attack on their convoy by army-backed thugs, who beat the two opposition leaders and killed several of their followers.

It is rumoured that Suu Kyi and Tin Oo will remain under house detention until a few months before the next general election, now scheduled for an unknown date in 2010. The NLD won the last general election of 1990 by a landslide.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar independence hero Aung San, was under house arrest during the 1990 polls, which she was barred from contesting because of her status then as the wife of a foreigner, her late husband Michael Aris, a British Oxford professor.