Monday, 21 July 2008

Myanmar says Suu Kyi may be freed soon

Why isn't she released NOW...
besides there is not such a law of 6yrs as a maximum... where did Nyan read his law?


SINGAPORE (AP) -- Myanmar's military junta has indicated to its Southeast Asian neighbors that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi could be freed from house arrest in about six months, Singapore's foreign minister said Sunday.

The hint came as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressed "deep disappointment" at the decision by the junta in May to extend Suu Kyi's detention by another year. It was an unusually frank criticism of Myanmar by the region's main bloc, whose members usually stick to a policy of not interfering in each other's affairs.

The comment by Myanmar's Foreign Minister Nyan Win to ASEAN is the most optimistic assessment of Suu Kyi's future by the junta, and the closest to a definite timetable for her release, which has been demanded by the international community.

Nyan Win made the hint during a dinner hosted by Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo for the foreign ministers of the ten member countries of ASEAN.

Yeo said Nyan Win explained that under Myanmar law a political detainee can be held for a maximum of six years. "And he told us that the six-year limit will come up in about half a year's time," Yeo said.

Asked if this meant Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, could be released in six months, Yeo said: "That is not an inaccurate inference."

The military regime extended Suu Kyi's house arrest May 27 for the sixth straight year. She has now been detained for more than 12 of the last 18 years at her home in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party has denounced the extension as illegal, saying its interpretation of the law is that she could be held only up to five years and not six.

After the dinner meeting, the ASEAN members issued a statement critical of Myanmar.

"The foreign ministers expressed their deep disappointment that ... Suu Kyi's detention has been extended by the Myanmar government," it said, adding that the ministers repeated a call by their governments for her to be released.

The ministers urged the junta to engage in a "meaningful dialogue with all political groups and work toward a peaceful transition to democracy in the near future."

ASEAN also urged the junta to give U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari access to senior leaders and to allow meetings with "the widest possible range of contacts including Suu Kyi."

ASEAN has never made so many demands on Myanmar, and its willingness to do so now is a reflection of its frustration.

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