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Myanmar democracy leader Suu Kyi's health improves: party

world Updated: May 12, 2009 11:21 IST

AFP
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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's health has improved after she received medical treatment for low blood pressure and dehydration, but her doctor remains in detention, her party said Tuesday.

The 63-year-old was placed on an intravenous drip again on Monday after the junta allowed her doctor's assistant to enter her home after several days, said Nyan Win, spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD).

"Her health is improved. There is no need to worry for her health as the medical assistant gave her the necessary medical treatment," Nyan Win told AFP, adding that she can now eat again and her blood pressure is back to normal.

He said the assistant, Pyone Moe Ei, spent nearly five hours at the lakeside house in Yangon where Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the last 19 years in virtual isolation.

But the spokesman added that Aung San Suu Kyi was suffering from leg cramps and would benefit from a full check-up by her main personal doctor, Tin Myo Win, who was detained by police on Thursday.

"It will be a long-term process. She needs her personal doctor," he said.

Tin Myo Win was arrested a day after Myanmar authorities seized a US national who had swum across a lake to Aung San Suu Kyi's off-limits compound and spent two days there.

Myanmar officials said on condition of anonymity that the doctor was still being held for questioning in relation to the intrusion by the American, named by state media as John William Yeattaw.

The doctor's assistant Pyone Moe Ei then visited Aung San Suu Kyi last Friday when she found her with low blood pressure, unable to eat and dehydrated.

She was refused a second visit on Sunday but the assistant was allowed to return on Monday.

Aung San Suu Kyi's latest period of detention at her home -- where she lives with two maids and is permitted occasional visits from her lawyer and doctor -- expires at the end of May.

Authorities have not said if they will extend her sentence but diplomats say it is likely, with Myanmar authorities planning to hold elections in 2010 that critics have described as a sham.

The US government on Monday demanded that the junta grant "immediate" access for Aung San Suu Kyi to see her doctor, expressing fears for her condition.

In Paris, France's junior foreign minister in charge of human rights, Rama Yade, offered medical aid to the pro-democracy icon.

The United States and European Union have both imposed tough sanctions on Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi led the NLD to a landslide victory in elections in 1990 but the military refused to let the party assume office. Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962.

Her latest period in detention began after a May 2003 attack on her convoy by a junta-backed militia in central Myanmar.

She was thrown into prison after the assault but was allowed to return home after a gynaecological operation.

In November 2006, Aung San Suu Kyi had an ultrasound, which is used to screen for a variety of ailments including heart and gynaecological problems, and was given a clean bill of health by her personal physician.