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Blockaded Suu Kyi appeals for world
Subject: Blockaded Suu Kyi appeals for world support.
Blockaded Suu Kyi appeals for world support
Burmese oppostition leader Ms Aung San Suu Kyi has issued a call
for world support for her country's prodemocracy movement after military
authorities blockaded her Rangoon home and rounded up hundreds of
In a telephone call to members of the board of the International
Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, of which she is a
member and which is meeting in Cape Town, she confirmed reports that
authorities were not alllowing her from attending the meeting.
"The situation in Burma is really not very satisfactory
at all," the Nobel peace laureate said in the call, according to the SAPA
"I would like the world to know that repression in Burma is
getting worse," she added. "We as a party are subjected to so much
persecution that it is almost unbelievable."
Ms Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy,
won democratic elections in Burma but was prevented by the military
government from taking office. She said that her house had been regularly
barricaded to remain up for several days.
"So we would like the world to be aware of the fact that the NLD
is struggling circumstances and we would welcome the moral and practical
support of right-thinking people all over the world."
In Washington, the State Department called on Burma's rulling
junta to respect the rights of student demonstrators who took part in one
of Burma's largest protest marches on Tuesday.
"We are calling on the (junta) to respect the rights of
demonstrators to express their views peacefully," State Department
spokesman Mr Nicholas Burn said.
He added that the State Law and Order Restoration Council, as the
rulling junta is officially known, "should listen to the Opposition and
engage in a dialogue with it".
On Tuesday, Burmese security forces rounded up hundreds of
demonstrators when they refused to disperse following the protest march.
However, late yesterday, a senior military intelligence
official said all 609 demonstrators arrested had been released.
Major Hla Min of the Office of Strategic Studies said that 487
students were returned to their campuses and 122 non-students among the
demonstrators were sent back to their townships.
Col Kyaw Win, deputy director of the SLORC blamed, "political
elements" opposed to Burma's sucessful entry into the Association of
South-East Asian Nations for sparking the demonstration. He did not
But the human rights watchdog Amnesty International said five Suu
Kyi supporters had been detained by the military authorities after
leaving the Opposition leader's compound on Tuesday. Their whereabouts
Pro-democracy activists oppose the political legitimacy ASEAN
membership would confer on the ruling SLORC.
This week's protest and a smaller one in October stem from the
police beating of several students following a dispute with a food stall
owner in October.
[By correspondents in Cape Town, Rangoon and Washington, 5 December 1996].