Win Tin undergoes heart surgery

Aug 18, 2009 (DVB), A senior member of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party has undergone heart surgery following reports of poor health.

U Win Tin, a key member in the NLD's Central Executive Committee, was taken to a Rangoon hospital last Saturday complaining of a slow heartbeat.

Win Tin had been a regular figure outside the gates of Insein prison during Aung San Suu Kyi's trial, and has often acted as a press contact for the NLD.

"I was submitted to the hospital on Saturday and had a pacemaker inserted in my heart [on Sunday]," he said.

"The whole procedure took about one hour and 20 minutes. Now I've been released from the Intensive Care Unit [to a regular ward.]"

He will be released from the hospital in about two to three days depending on how fast the incision [from the surgery] recovered.

Win Tin, now 80-years-old, had a medical check up in mid-July this year for surgery in his eye.

Later he was diagnosed with slow a heart beat, which is beating at only half the speed of a normal heart. The subsequent medication did not work, and doctors decided to insert a pacemaker.

Win Tin is Burma's longest serving political prisoner, released in November 2008 after a 19 year sentence.

He was originally chosen as one of four witnesses to testify on behalf of Suu Kyi at her trial, but judges dismissed him citing his past conviction.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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