Junta secretary in S’pore for health reasons

Wai Moe
The Irrawaddy

The Burmese junta’s Secretary-1, Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, who has been absent at state ceremonies in April, is reportedly hospitalized in Singapore.

Diplomats in Rangoon said Tin Aung Myint Oo, 60, the No. 4 ranking general and quartermaster-general of the Tatmadaw (Burmese armed forces), has been in the city state since mid-April for heath reasons.

Myint Oo had previously experienced heart problems. Like other health trips made by Burma’s secretive generals, however, the state media has made no mention of Tin Aung Myint Oo’s health.

Burmese political observers have been commenting on Tin Aung Myint Oo health since noting he has been absent from state ceremonies during April and did not accompany junta head Snr-Gen Than Shwe on various trips across the country. He was absent from state religious ceremonies in Naypyidaw on Monday and Tuesday.

Tin Aung Myint Oo’s last public appearance was on April 9 at Naypyidaw Airport when Than Shwe and top generals welcomed Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein, who returned from the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi.

In March 2009, Tin Aung Myint Oo was promoted to a four star general by Than Shwe in what observers believe was a tactic by Than Shwe to create a rival faction in the army to balance junta No. 3 Gen Shwe Mann, who is joint chief of staff and coordinator of Special Operations (Army, Navy , Air Force ) and chairman of the military’s Myanmar Economic Corporation.

Singapore has been the hospital treatment center of choice for ruling Burmese generals for two decades. The late dictator Gen Ne Win and the late prime minister Gen Soe Win are among the Burmese generals who have received treatment at expensive hospitals in Singapore.

In January 2009, Than Shwe spent two weeks in Singapore. Soe Win flew there twice in his battle against leukemia, staying there from March to October in 2007.


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