Ill Kyaing Kyaing Absent at State Dinner Celebrating Independence
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Ill Kyaing Kyaing Absent at State Dinner Celebrating Independence

By Wai Moe Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Kyaing Kyaing, the wife of junta leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe, is still believed to be ill and failed to accompany her husband to the state dinner on the 60th anniversary of Burma’s independence from British rule.

Traditionally, she usually accompanies her husband to state ceremonies.

Kyaing Kyaing

The New Light of Myanmar, the government-backed newspaper, published a story on Saturday with a headline, “Snr-Gen Than Shwe, Wife Daw Kyaing Kyaing Host Dinner to Mark 60th Anniversary Independence Day.”

However, Kyaing Kyaing, who is said to be in her early 70s, was not pictured or written about in the news account of the dinner.

Her absence in the news story reporting the dinner was noticed by readers. The story said Than Shwe arrived at the city hall in Naypyidaw, where the dinner was held, at 6:30 p.m. On Friday and was welcomed by Deputy Snr-Gen Maung Aye, the No 3 of the junta; Gen Shwe Mann, the chief of staff of the armed forces; Lt-Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, the Secretary 1 of the junta; and diplomats, led by acting dean of the diplomat corps Pakistani Ambassador to Burma, Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry, and their wives.

Observers have noted Kyaing Kyaing’s absence from official accounts since mid-December when Than Shwe conducted a series of trips around upper Burma attending graduation ceremonies at military schools and traveling to pagodas in Pagan and Mandalay as well as various government projects.

State-run newspapers reported in December that Than Shwe was accompanied by his daughter, grandson and high-ranking military officials during his tour of upper Burma.

Than Shwe and his wife were both absent during the state dinner marking the 59th anniversary of Independence on January 4, 2007.

At that time, both were in Singapore where the junta chief received treatment at Singapore General Hospital. Some unconfirmed reports said Than Shwe, whose official age is 74, suffered from diabetes and hypertension. The government has not commented on the health condition of him or his wife.

Kyaing Kyaing, an ethnic Pa-O, reportedly suffered a stroke in early December and a famous neurological specialist in Rangoon, Mi Mi Cho, has visited her home, according to military sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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