Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 5 News List

Myanmar's junta launches fresh attack on Suu Kyi

AFP , YANGON

Myanmar's military junta launched a new attack on detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday, in an insulting commentary that indicated it is unlikely to release her any time soon.

The article in the official press was the regime's latest attempt to portray the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader as the instigator of violence in northern Myanmar on May 30 which triggered her detention.

"Auntie Suu is a willful and hard-headed person liable to rash judgments followed by blind action, in her relations with the present government," it said.

"Nevertheless, whatever the provocation, responsible leaders of the present government, preferring to act with forbearance, and on the basis of give and take, have always chosen to take action in moderation."

Purportedly written by a senior NLD member who had grown disenchanted with the party, it said the government had made every effort to help her since she launched her pro-democracy struggle in 1988.

"To put it frankly, from the time our NLD party leader Auntie Suu as an ordinary housewife ventured into the Myanmar political arena, every circumstance has been in her favor," it said.

Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party's 1990 election victory was never recognized by the government, has spent two long spells under house arrest, including a 19-month stint that ended in May last year.

The junta's move to confine her once again in the wake of the May 30 violence, which pitted her supporters against thousands of pro-junta thugs, has drawn intense international criticism.

Despite the government's claim that she is in "protective custody" and that the measure is temporary, it has not given any indication when she will be released.

Yesterday's commentary included photos of Suu Kyi taken when she was released from house arrest in 1995 and held a rare meeting with the nation's ruler Senior General Than Shwe.

The photos showed her smiling and shaking hands with Than Shwe and sitting with the general in what was billed by the caption as "a family dinner."

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