Myanmar's ailing prime minister to retire soon, source says

Yangon - Myanmar's Prime Minister Soe Win will retire 'very soon' due to poor health, a well-placed government source said Wednesday.
Myanmar's Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan acknowledged at a press conference last month that General Soe Win had gone to Singapore for a health check-up for ailments typical of a man his age.
Should Soe Win retire, his most likely successor will be Lieutenant-General Thein Sein, Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), as Myanmar's ruling junta styles itself, sources said.
Prior to his appointment as prime minister in October 2004, Soe Win was best known for his part in the bloody crackdown on democracy protestors in 1988 - for deploying troops around Yangon University and ordering them to shoot at Rangoon General Hospital during the upheaval.
Soe Win was also commander of Sagaing Division in May 2003, when opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) followers were attacked in Depeyin district, Sagaing, by pro-junta thugs. Suu Kyi was arrested after the incident on charges of created unrest. She has been languishing under house arrest in Yangon since.
The post of prime minister is not deemed the true seat of power in Myanmar, which is still under the thumb of the SPDC, headed by Senior General Than Shwe.
Recent rumours that Than Shwe, 74, was on the verge of death proved unfounded. In a rare public appearance the ageing general presided over the annual Armed Forces Day parade on March 27, standing in the hot sun for more than an hour with no apparent signs of weakness.
Source: Internet News

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