Myanmar’s Suu Kyi undergoes eye surgery: official

Yangon; Myanmar’s Aung Sang Suu Kyi underwent successful eye surgery today, a senior party official said, weeks after the 70-year-old’s fledgling administration took power.

“She went back home after the successful operation,” Win Htein, a senior member of Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, told AFP.

He declined to comment on the specific nature of the operation but said it was minor and that Suu Kyi, who is state counsellor and foreign minister, would return to hospital for surgery on the other eye on April 16.

Photos published by local media showed Suu Kyi at the hospital with her personal doctor Tin Myo Win, one of the few people permitted to visit the democracy activist during the 15 years the military kept her under house arrest in her crumbling Yangon mansion.

He told AFP by phone that President Htin Kyaw had also arrived at the hospital to see Suu Kyi after the operation.

Suu Kyi and her party took their seats in government last month following a massive election win in November, forming the first civilian administration in decades.

The historic power transfer crowned the Nobel laureate’s lengthy campaign to wrest power from a repressive junta that sunk the Southeast Asian country into brutal poverty.

Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency by an army-written charter but her role as state counsellor allows her to wield influence across the cabinet and parliament.

The administration is formally led by her close aide and friend Htin Kyaw, who is expected to serve as her presidential proxy.

Suu Kyi’s surgery took place ahead of Myanmar’s new year festival, which sees the closure of shops and government offices, with parliament scheduled to resume on May 2.