Myanmar State Counselor Suffering From Exhaustion After US, UK Visits


2016-09-26
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myanmar-aung-san-suu-kyi-unga-sept21-2016.jpg Myanmar State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 21, 2016.
AFP

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s health is stable, but she is suffering from weakness and exhaustion and needs to rest following more than two weeks of official travel to the United States and Britain, a government official said Monday.

The 71-year-old former political prisoner who is now Myanmar’s de facto national leader was diagnosed with a gastric problem from not eating regular meals during her first trips to the U.S. and U.K. since taking office in April. She is also suffering from arthritis in her neck from computer use, according to a government statement.

“She had a tight schedule with a lot of events [to attend] while she was in the United States,” said Zaw Htay, spokesman of the President’s Office.

“She got tired because she has only had a few opportunities to rest and because of traveling to different time zones,” he said. “Although she got very tired, her health condition is not critical. Her health is stable, but she needs to take some rest for a while.”

When Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in the commercial capital Yangon on Sunday night local time, she used a wheelchair and did not greet supporters who waited for her outside the airport, according to local media reports.

During her visit to Washington on Sept. 13-16, Aung San Suu Kyi met with U.S. President Barack Obama—who agreed to drop remaining sanctions against Myanmar—other administration officials, congressional leaders, and members of the American business community.

On Sept. 21, Aung San Suu Kyi attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York where she gave a speech and later addressed members of the Asia Society about Myanmar’s political and economic development.

Last Friday, however, she missed a meeting with the Partnership Group on Burma at the U.N. because her doctor advised her to get some rest, the online journal The Irrawaddy reported.

Prior to arriving in the U.S., Aung San Suu Kyi visited the United Kingdom to meet with new Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, government ministers, and businesspeople in London.

She also briefed several Myanmar ambassadors stationed in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa on her government’s foreign policy.

Besides functioning as state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi serves as Myanmar’s foreign minister and minister of the President’s office. She has been leading renewed efforts in Myanmar to bring ethnic separatist groups to the negotiating table to try to forge reconciliation and lasting peace in the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s scheduled meeting with Myanmar businesspeople on Wednesday to discuss future investment and economic policy has been cancelled, according to the Ministry of Information.

Reported by Zarni Htun for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Tranlsated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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