Veteran Shan politician Shwe Ohn, 88, the co-founder of the Union Democratic Party (UDP) one of the political parties to contest the upcoming elections in Burma, is said to have been long lying in bed, according to a bi-weekly newsletter by Shan National Democratic Party (SNDP) released on 16 August.
Shwe Ohn is suffering from liver cancer. His health condition has worsened soon after he returned from campaigning in his native town, Yawnghwe of Shan State South, on 19 June, it said.
Despite his condition, Shwe Ohn is said to have been working on his biography, said a Shan resident in Rangoon who visited him last week.
“The book is almost finished and will get published soon,” he said.
He is now at his home that is located on Shin Saw Pu road in San Chaung, Rangoon. “Members of other political parties also visited him,” the source said.
Shwe Ohn formed the Union Democratic Alliance Organization (UDAO) on 26 January 2010 based on his belief that if there are no opposition parties, the military junta’s candidates will win by acclamation. On the other hand, he has also been urging people in Shan State to form their own parties to contest the elections.
“Something is better than nothing,” he was reported to have said.
The UDAO renamed UDP, applied for registration to Union Election Commissions on 8 April 2010 and was granted permission to set up as a political party to contest in the elections on 28 May.
But on 5 August, its chairman Phyo Min Thein resigned from the party citing the elections would not be free and fair and Thein Htay succeeded him. UDP is one of the parities that plan to contest in the whole Shan State; North, East and South. There are so far 14 political parties that will contest in the whole Shan State.
Shwe Ohn was born on 14 March 1923 in Shan State South’s Yawnghwe. As a young politician, he had participated in the 1947 Panglong Conference. He was a Chairman of the Shan State National Races League for Democracy (SSNRLD), one the parities that contested the 1990 elections.