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U Lwin, former NLD secretary, dies of natural causes

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – U Lwin, 87, one of the founders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and a former Burmese military officer, died of natural causes on Tuesday night.

U Lwin and Aung San Suu Kyi.His body will be cremated at Yayway Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in Rangoon.

In October, U Lwin was treated at Shinpagu private hospital for 16 days. He died at his home in Kanbawza Home in Bahan Township in Rangoon.  

“A few days before he died, he said rosary,” his son-in-law Htin Kyaw told Mizzima.  

He is survived by his daughter, Su Su Lwin.

 NLD General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi paid her respects at his home after his death.

U Lwin suffered a stroke in 2008. In 2010, he retired from daily NLD responsibilities due to ill health.

Before joining the NLD, he was a high-ranking military officer under Gen. Ne Win, then chief of Burma’s armed forces.

 He was deputy prime minister and a state council member under the Burma Socialist Programme Party regime, headed by Ne Win. Later when the NLD was formed, he became a leader of a faction of former military officers.

 Most of the “old guard” members of the NLD are in their 80s. For many years, he was the NLD’s only spokesman.
He was the 8th child of Ba Tha and Daw Thein, and he had 12 siblings. He was born on October 22, 1924, on 49th Street in Pazundaung Township in Rangoon Region. He attended high school in Rangoon.

He served in the Burma Independence Army led by General Aung San during the period of revolution against Japan. He served in Burma’s Defence Army and then served in the Patriotic Burmese Force from 1942 until 1964. In 1964, he was the commander of the Southeast Command.   

He graduated from the first batch of the Burma Defence Academy. He received military training in the Japanese Imperial Military Academy, in England and in West Germany.

According to information in the electoral record compiled by Khin Kyaw Han from 1946 until 1958, he served as a colonel in Battalion No. 5 and Infantry No. 7, Kachin No. 1 and Light Infantry No. 104. In 1959, he served as a military ambassador to the U.S.

NLD Vice Chairman Tin Oo told Radio Free Asia (RFA) Burmese service that he respected U Lwin as though he was his brother and mentor. Tin Oo recounted U Lwin’s efforts in fighting against Mujahidin rebels who sought to create a state in Arakan State and fighting against the Kuomintang, which invaded northern Shan State in 1950.

Writing about his involvement in the NLD in 1988, Khin Kyaw Han said, “because of his financial experiences and honesty, he was appointed as a trustee of the NLD.”

In the 1990 general election, he won a parliamentary seat in Thone Gwa Township in Rangoon Region. He was appointed NLD secretary twice: on March 26, 1991, and October 9, 1995.

He died six days before the first anniversary of his wife’s death.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 December 2011 23:07 )  

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