Myanmar’s regime insisted yesterday that it had the right to keep opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, likening its security laws to British and US anti-terror legislation.
In an editorial in the mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar newspaper, the junta said it was necessary to continue her detention to safeguard sovereignty.
The commentary piece highlighted Britain, the US, Singapore and Malaysia as other countries that had similar legislation.
“Myanmar is not the only country that promulgates the laws to prevent those who pose a danger to the state,” the paper said. “If necessary to guard the motherland and safeguard the lives and prosperity of the people, every government has to promulgate laws and impose restrictions.”
The National League for Democracy (NLD) says the detention of their leader for more than five years is illegal and has announced its intention to appeal her confinement.
But the commentary said that under a 1975 law, the regime could hold a citizen for a year, and a further five years if it receives the Cabinet’s consent.
The generals extended Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest by one year on May 27. Her current detention began in 2003.
“I have to explain the law in detail because these days, those from the anti-government groups who claim themselves to be legal experts are criticizing that the government’s restrictions on certain persons are not in conformity with the law,” the article said. “Those who often commit crimes have to be restricted to be in a particular area or are banished, as necessary in order to prevent their possible violation of law.”