Thursday, May 28, 2009

International pressure mounts to release Suu Kyi

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 28 May, ( The trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi continued Wednesday, the sixth anniversary of her latest round of detention.

In a statement released by the White House, US President Barack Obama condemned Aung San Suu Kyi's continued detention, and urged Burma's military junta to release her immediately and without conditions. Obama said her current trial is a "show trial based on spurious charges."

Britain's prime minister has added his name to a new campaign for the release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the sixth anniversary of her latest round of detention.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in a statement Wednesday that the world has failed to act in the face of what he called an "intolerable justice." However, he said international calls for Aung San Suu Kyi's release are growing.

As Aung San Suu Kyi's trial for allegedly violating the terms of her house arrested continued Wednesday for the ninth day, human rights activists launched a new Internet-based campaign.

Human rights organizations and celebrities from around the world are leaving videos and other messages on the Web site that says it aims to make the Nobel Peace laureate's 64th birthday on June 19th her last in detention.

Earlier this week, human rights activists announced that they had met their goal of gathering 600,000 signatures urging Burma's military government to free Aung San Suu Kyi and other political dissidents.

Her current trial has also provoked condemnation from governments across Asia and Europe.

Aung San Suu Kyi faces up to five years in jail if convicted. Two of her caretakers and Yettaw himself also are facing trial. Critics say Burma's military leaders are using the trial as a pretext to keep the opposition leader under detention so she cannot participate in next year's elections. Her National League for Democracy won Burma's 1990 elections, but the military refused to relinquish power.

Asian and European Union foreign ministers meeting in Vietnam also issued a joint statement Tuesday calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other Burmese political dissidents.

Several members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have expressed grave concern about Aung San Suu Kyi's trial. A group of ASEAN lawmakers called for Burma's membership in the regional bloc to be suspended if she continues to be detained.

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