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Suu Kyi breaks house confinement

 .c The Associated Press 

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi broke three days
of government-imposed house confinement Thursday, attending a wedding and
meeting with leaders of her party to commemorate the anniversary of a student

Since students staged a rare street demonstration on Tuesday, authorities
have blocked the road to Suu Kyi's house, where the party meeting was to have
taken place. 

Early Thursday, they also closed the road to the headquarters of Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy in an apparent effort to block the meeting from
being held there. 

But the Nobel Peace laureate slipped out and met with 250 party members at
the home of Tin Oo, a senior party leader. She and others gave speeches and
the group sang songs praising those who fought for Burmese independence. 

Suu Kyi thanked cheering supporters for attending despite ``threats and

``I firmly believe that we will be able to set up a democratic government one
day,'' Suu Kyi said. ``We have to organize the people and arouse their
nationalistic spirit.'' 

Before the meeting -- which marked the anniversary of a student rebellion
against British rule in 1920 -- Suu Kyi attended a friend's wedding at a
Chinese restaurant for about 30 minutes, wedding guests said. 

Suu Kyi told reporters Thursday she had been illegally confined after the
protest by 1,000 students critical of the government. It was the biggest
demonstration since the pro-democracy uprising of 1988, which the army
violently suppressed. 

The government has cracked down on Suu Kyi and her party in recent months.
Roadblocks have gone up and down around her house, preventing the weekend
rallies she used to hold before thousands of supporters -- nearly the only
contact with large numbers of people she had been allowed. 

This week, intelligence authorities reportedly warned Suu Kyi that her safety
could not be guaranteed if she left her home -- an ominous sign following a
Nov. 9 attack on her car by a mob allegedly organized by the government. The
government denied responsibility for the incident, in which no one was
seriously injured. 

The New York-based Human Rights Watch-Asia, in a statement received in
Bangkok, Thailand, likened her confinement this week to ``house arrest.'' Suu
Kyi spent six years under house arrest without trial before being released in

Suu Kyi denied any direct connection to Tuesday's protest. 

``What I understand is that they were demonstrating against police brutality
and injustice,'' she said. ``We're against police brutality and injustice,
too. So I could say that we are all on the same side.'' 

The students' grievances stemmed mostly from the beating of three engineering
students by police in October. 

But unlike a smaller protest six weeks ago, some demonstrators bore banners
demanding freedom and human rights -- causes espoused by Suu Kyi and viewed
as treasonous by the council of generals that runs this Southeast Asian

Authorities said Wednesday that 609 people, including 487 students, had been
detained. They said all had been released after identity checks. 

Human Rights Watch-Asia expressed concern that detainees might still be held
and said political prisoners in Burmese jails are routinely tortured. 

The military has ruled Burma since 1962. Suu Kyi, daughter of independence
hero Aung San, rose to prominence in the 1988 protests. Her party won
elections in 1990, but the government never allowed the elected parliament to

AP-NY-12-05-96 0929EST