Hso Ten undergoing medical checks

The former leader of the Shan State Army (North) released early this week from a 106-year prison sentence is reportedly in good health following a medical check-up, but doctors will wait before allowing him to return home.

The daughter of Maj-Gen Hso Ten said yesterday that an X-ray scan on the 75-year-old showed “everything was fine. We just had him checked because he hadn’t had that for a while. There’s nothing to worry about.”

Nang Kham Pao continued that the former army leader had planned to return to his home in northern Shan state’s Lashio but both that no flights were available, and that doctors had wanted to keep him.

“I can’t say for sure if he’ll arrive [home] tomorrow or not – it depends on the doctor’s suggestion. If they say he can come back, then he may arrive back on tomorrow’s flight if there’s one available.”

Hso Ten was jailed in 2005 along with six other Shan leaders on charges of conspiring against the state; the others, including Khun Htun Oo, who was handed 93 years, remain in prison.

Throughout his five-year jail term, Hso Ten required constant medication to treat hypertension and diabetes. In May this year he was allowed to leave his cell in Sittwe prison to undergo a cataracts operation in the local hospital.

In all around 220 political prisoners were among the 6,359 inmates released in an amnesty on Wednesday. Although high-profile figures such as comedian Zarganar and activist Su Su Nway freed, rights groups have criticised the government for not releasing all 2,000-odd political prisoners.

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