Myanmar opposition spokesman dies in Singapore

March 29th, 2008 - 12:09 pm ICT by admin  

Yangon, March 29 (DPA) Myint Thein, the spokesman for Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party who was jailed repeatedly, died at age 62 in Singapore, relatives said Saturday. Myint Thein was most recently detained for a month last year following the September anti-military protests in Yangon that left at least 31 people dead and led to thousands of arrests.

He died Friday evening after battling stomach cancer in Singapore General Hospital since Jan 31, his daughter said.

Myint Thein had been active in the Burmese democracy movement since 1988, when mass anti-military demonstrations first rocked the isolated, formerly socialist state, ending in an army-led bloodbath that claimed up to 3,000 lives.

Since winning a parliamentary seat in the 1990 elections, he had been detained several times without trial, including a three-year jail stint from 1998 to 2001.

As a close aid of NLD leader, the Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, he was named the party’s spokesperson in 2004.

He was last detained in Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison on Sep 27, 2007, after the peaceful protests led by Buddhist monks ended in a brutal crackdown.

Myint Thein’s health deteriorated while he was in detention and he had to be hospitalised upon his release on Oct 30 last year.

“He was formerly healthy and strong. Frequent detentions and lack of medical treatment and inadequate food in prison made him sick and infected some diseases,” said Aung Din, executive director for the US Campaign for Burma.

Myanmar was formerly known as Burma.

After being diagnosed with stomach cancer, authorities permitted him to fly to Singapore for treatment in January.

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