Thursday, July 23, 2015

Burmese Nationalist MP Aung Thaung Died In Singapore

Yangon - An influential Myanmar legislator and businessman accused of undermining the country's transition to democracy died on Thursday at a Singapore hospital, the New York Times reported. U Aung Thaung, 74, who had been flown to Singapore for treatment after a stroke on July 8, died from complications, according to U Win Tin, editor of The Union Daily in Myanmar.

Mr Aung Thaung was minister of industry for 14 years under the military junta that ruled the country for decades until 2011, DPA news agency reported. He was accused of abusing that position to amass a considerable fortune, and named by The Irrawaddy, a magazine dedicated to Myanmar news, one of the country's richest men.

He was a hardliner in the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, which was behind a 2003 attack on pro-democracy figures including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate who now leads the country's opposition.

The United States blacklisted Mr Aung Thaung last year on grounds of undermining political reforms and "perpetuating violence". It froze his US-based assets and barred US citizens from doing business with him.

A senior doctor who had treated Mr Aung Thaung in Myanmar said the politician was transferred to Singapore at the request of his family. But the doctor told The Myanmar Times that there was "no hope" that he would be able to make a full recovery due to the severity of his injuries.

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