Thursday, 4 September 2008

Suu Kyi’s Lawyer Denies She Won’t Meet Regime Minister

The Irrawaddy News

Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) has denied a report in the regime’s official newspaper that the party’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is refusing to meet the minister charged with liaising between her and the government.

The government mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar, reported on Wednesday that Suu Kyi had declined a scheduled meeting with Labor Minister Aung Kyi on Tuesday. The meeting had been arranged at the request of the United Nations following the latest, unsuccessful mission to Burma by special envoy Ibrahim Gambari at the end of August, the newspaper said.

The New Light of Myanmar reported that Suu Kyi had told her lawyer, Kyi Win, that she didn’t want to meet Aung Kyi. She also declined a visit by her doctor, the newspaper said.

Suu Kyi also declined a meeting with Gambari.

“For the time being, she wants to meet no one, except advocate U Kyi Win,” said The New Light of Myanmar.

Kyi Win said that when he met Suu Kyi on Monday she had said she was prepared to meet Aung Kyi but had added: “However, there are problems to be solved.”

Kyi Win said: “She also said that she felt weak and tired, and asked me to appeal for understanding.” The lawyer said she had lost weight but otherwise appeared to be well.

The NLD says Suu Kyi has told it not to deliver any more food or supplies to her home, but has denied she is on a hunger strike.

Suu Kyi has been allowed to meet Kyi Win three times in the past month. The lawyer said that at their Monday meeting they had discussed an appeal against the regime’s latest detention order. The Nobel laureate has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, and is now in the sixth year of continuous detention.

Another city has, meanwhile, honored Suu Kyi by making her an honorary citizen.
Dundee in Scotland has given her the “freedom of the city,” a rare honor reserved for outstanding personalities.

Anna Roberts, Director of the Burma Campaign-UK, who will collect the award on Suu Kyi’s behalf, said such prestigious honors “are really important for raising awareness of the situation of Aung San Suu Kyi herself, but also more widely about all of the people in Burma.

"It's a great occasion to be able to raise the profile of Burma and also to let people know inside Burma that the world has not forgotten and that they are campaigning to help bring freedom and democracy to Burma.

"Aung San Suu Kyi herself will probably hear about this award and people inside Burma certainly do take great courage and they feel very supported by acts like this.

"She remains a powerful source of hope and inspiration for the people of Burma and it's important that we never forget and we never stop campaigning for her release and [the release of] all political prisoners in Burma."

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