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Concern over Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi

Latest update : 2008-08-29

Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention, is said to have started a hunger strike, though a junta official has denied the reports.

Rumours that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had started a hunger strike against the lack of political progress have been swirling around Burma over the last few days to the dismay of foreign diplomats.

 

The leader of the National League for Democracy has been refusing, since August 15, every food parcel that party members have been bringing to her house in downtown Rangoon since she was last put under house arrest.

 

Suu Kyi spent 13 of the last 19 years in detention. Her latest arrest goes back to 2003, when one of her party’s convoys was attacked by pro-government militia men. The ambush killed more than a hundred of her followers.

 

The Burmese junta denied Thursday that Suu Kyi was on a hunger strike but there is growing concern in the opposition that the government isn’t telling the truth. Suu Kyi looked like she had lost a lot of weight on images broadcast at the time of the visit of UN special envoy for Burma, Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari, a few months ago.

 

Members of the opposition living in exile believe that this could be Suu Kyi’s “last bid.” Her refusal – unheard of - to meet with Ban Ki-moon’s envoy last week, after she called him “too complacent with the junta,” could prove them right.

Date created : 2008-08-28

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