Myanmar junta leader suffers stomach bug in Sri Lanka: doctor

KANDY, November 13, 2009 (AFP) – Myanmar junta leader General Than Shwe was treated for a mild stomach bug hours after his arrival in Sri Lanka, a doctor from the hospital that treated him said Friday. The reclusive junta leader complained of discomfort after his entourage had checked into a deluxe hotel in the central Buddhist pilgrim city of Kandy on Thursday, the doctor from the state-run Kandy Hospital said.

“We suspect it to be a food bug,” said the doctor, who asked not to be named because he was not authorisied to speak to the media.

Two doctors from the Kandy Hospital were rushed to the hotel to treat the junta leader. He later went ahead with his programme, which included meetings with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.

On Friday, General Than Shwe showed no signs of illness as he began a pilgrimage to the sacred Temple of the Tooth relic in Kandy, which is revered by Sri Lankan Buddhists.

Sri Lanka and Myanmar both practise Theravada Buddhism and have had cultural and religious ties since the 11th century. Speaking through an interpreter, Than Shwe said he was honoured to worship at a historic Buddhist shrine.

General Than Shwe, who is on his first overseas visit