Thursday, March 13, 2008

Than Shwe rumored to be hospitalized

March 12, 2008

New Delhi – Burma's Ministry of Information has brushed aside rumors that Head of State Senior General Than Shwe's health is failing and that he is currently hospitalized.

Rumors have been circulating Rangoon and among exile Burmese communities that Than Shwe's health is deteriorating and that he is receiving medical treatment at Rangoon's No. 2 Military Hospital.

A source close to the military establishment in Rangoon said, "I heard that his health has been deteriorating for about a week."

Similarly, rumors are spreading among the Burmese exile community that Than Shwe is suffering from colon cancer for which he is currently receiving treatment.

The rumor is spreading rapidly via blogs operated by Burmese bloggers both inside and outside the country.

Burmese bloggers have posted several messages claiming that Than Shwe has undergone medical treatment for colon cancer at the No. 2 Military Hospital in Rangoon.

While the information could not be independently verified, an official at the Burmese Ministry of Information dismissed the rumor, saying, "No, he is not hospitalized and he is in good health."

However Burma's military strongman has long been reported to be suffering from ill-health and several important meetings, including the junta's quarterly meetings, had been previously postponed due to speculation of his fragile condition.