Aung San Suu Kyi moved to house arrest after surgery


2003-09-26
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Detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was discharged from a Rangoon hospital and moved to house arrest at her lakeside home, RFA's Burmese service reports.

The junta has held her at a secret location since May 30. In a statement, it said she would "continue to rest at home under the supervision of her doctors while the government stands ready to provide and assist her with medical and humanitarian needs." It failed to specify what if any restrictions she would now face.

Aung San Suu Kyi left the Asia Royal Cardiac and Medical Center, where she underwent surgery Sept. 19. Her personal doctor told diplomats and reporters earlier Friday that the 58-year-old Suu Kyi would be under house arrest after leaving the hospital late Friday. "She is technically still under custody," Tin Myo Win said. "I have to tell [her] supporters that she will see them only when she is released totally... Technically, she is under house arrest."

"Anybody who wishes to see her once she is home can make arrangements through the authorities," he said.

Security was tight around the house in central Rangoon, where Aung San Suu Kyi has been confined for more than seven of the last 14 years.

The government's statement was its first on Aung San Suu Kyi since she was hospitalized. It said she had undergone surgery for a gynecological condition and that two doctors would care for her at home.

Aung San Suu Kyi's move comes days ahead of a visit to Burma by United Nations special envoy, Razali Ismail, in a bid to kick-start U.N.-brokered reconciliation talks.

Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested after a government-led ambush on her motorcade on May 30 in the north of the country, in which as many as 100 people died, and an unknown number of women were raped, according to eyewitness testimonies recorded for RFA's Burmese service. She has been held in an unknown location "for her own protection", according to the country's military rulers.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan expects Razali to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, "find out her condition and work with government officials towards her immediate and unconditional release," the U.N. spokesman said. Razali brokered the reconciliation talks and later secured Suu Kyi's release from more than 18 months of house arrest in May 2002.

Earlier this month, Razali said he hoped to return to Burma and speak to the new premier about his recently announced road map to an elected government in Burma.

Khin Nyunt, who was named prime minister last month in a major Cabinet reshuffle, announced his "road map" on Aug. 30, but made no offers to hold talks with the NLD or other political opponents.

The NLD won a national election more than a decade ago in Burma, but the junta refused to yield power. Since 1990, Suu Kyi has been kept under various periods of house arrest. Her latest detention halted reconciliation talks she had begun with the junta in October 2000.

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