Tuesday, May 27, 2008


BURMA'S military rulers tightened security around the home of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today, the day her latest year-long stretch of house arrest is due to expire.

Few expect the military to do anything but roll over the 62-year-old Nobel laureate's detention order, even though such a move is bound to create tensions with Western nations who have promised millions of dollars in cyclone aid.

At least six police trucks, a prison van and a fire engine have been parked near the headquarters of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which is due to hold a ceremony this afternoon.
Amid rumours of a planned NLD march to Ms Suu Kyi's house, police moved a wooden and barbed-wired barricade across the road up to the nearest major intersection, making it impossible even to approach the lakeside villa.
Ms Suu Kyi has spent more than 12 of the last 18 years in prison or under house arrest. Her party won more than 80 per cent of seats in a 1990 election, but was denied power by the military, which has ruled since a 1962 coup.
Her latest stretch of detention started "for her own protection" after clashes between her supporters and pro-junta thugs near the northern town of Depayin on May 30, 2003.
However, her formal house arrest under a state security law did not start until November 27 of that year. It was renewed once for six months, and has since been renewed every year on or around May 27.

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