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Updated: February 15, 2010 03:01 IST

Tin Oo set free, to lead NLD

P. S. Suryanarayana
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Tin Oo offers prayers during his visit to the revered Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar on Sunday. Photo:AP
AP Tin Oo offers prayers during his visit to the revered Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar on Sunday. Photo:AP

Octogenarian Tin Oo, now set free by Myanmar’s military rulers, will lead the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) as long as Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest. She has so far spent over 14 years in detention, either at her own residence in Yangon or in prison, during the past two decades.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s political associate and NLD spokesman Nyan Win said over the telephone from Yangon on Sunday Mr. Tin Oo, Vice-Chairman of the NLD, appeared to be “well” upon his release from house arrest on Saturday. He would preside over a meeting of the party’s executive committee on Monday.

There would be “no agenda” for the party panel’s meeting, because the junta had not so far announced a date for the promised democracy-restoring polls, said Mr. Nyan Win. The required election law was not yet in place, either. The NLD did not also agree with the junta that a new Constitution was duly ratified by the people in the referendum held when Myanmar was still reeling under the impact of Cyclone Nargis.

He said there was still no official word on whether and, if so, when Ms. Suu Kyi might be set free. Mr. Tin Oo, a military hero who helped her form the NLD and remained her close lieutenant in the cause of democracy, was denied personal liberty for a number of years. He was now set free, only upon the expiry of his latest term of house arrest, said Mr. Nyan Win.

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