Myanmar’s new de facto leader Suu Kyi has cataract surgery

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s new de facto leader, has undergone an eye operation for cataracts, state media said Sunday.

The state-controlled Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper cited sources in Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy party as saying the successful operation was performed at a special hospital in the capital, Naypyitaw.

Cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye, is usually associated with aging, and can lead to blindness if left untreated. Suu Kyi is 70.

The newspaper said the operation was performed Saturday, allowing her recuperation to take place over the extended traditional New Year holiday this week. It said she will return for an operation on her other eye in mid-April, a standard practice.

By agreement of her party, Suu Kyi is the de facto head of government, taking up the newly created post of state counsellor. The military-era constitution does not allow her to be president because her two sons have British citizenship.

Shortly before her party won a landslide victory in November’s election, Suu Kyi announced her intention to run the government by being “above the president.”

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