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NLD member loses sight due to lack of treatment

Mar 5, 2008 (DVB)-A detained Mandalay division National League for Democracy member has gone blind in his left eye due to lack of treatment for problems arising after an attack last year, his wife said.

U Than Lwin, an NLD member and elected member of parliament from Maddaya township, was sent to Mandalay hospital from prison on 23 February to undergo an operation on his left eye, which was severely damaged during a knuckle-duster attack by an unknown assailant in mid-2007.

But doctors at the hospital said that it was already too late for them to save his sight in that eye, and he was sent back to prison on 29 February.

Than Lwin’s wife, Daw Khin Thi, said that an earlier intervention could have saved Than Lwin’s sight.

"The doctors said it was already about two months late to treat his eye and there was nothing they could do to help him," Khin Thi said.

"Specialist eye doctors said all the nerves in his eye had been destroyed due to the growth of cataracts," she said.

"It has been a long time since we found out he was suffering from cataracts and needed immediate medical assistance. We requested permission for treatment from the prison authorities and government leaders in Naypyidaw, but they only approved it about two months later and it was already too late by that time."

Than Lwin was attacked in June last year by a man with a knuckle-duster, who fled into the Union Solidarity and Development Association office after the attack.

He suffered harassment from USDA members while in hospital recovering from the attack, and was arrested on 2 September, allegedly in connection with commodity price protests.

Reporting by Aye Nai


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