12/16/2009, 00.00
MYANMAR

Aung San Suu Kyi meets senior opposition party officials

It is the first high-profile meeting between the Nobel Laureate and leaders of the National League for Democracy, approved by the junta in 2009. Local political experts consider it a "positive signal". On 21 December the Supreme Court will consider the appeal against the house arrest sentence.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met with senior officials from her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The meeting - authorized by the military junta - was held this morning in a government building in Yangon. Yesterday, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate received a team of lawyers in her home, in view of the appeal to the Supreme Court against her sentence to house arrest. The hearing is scheduled for 21 December.

This morning, Aung San Suu Kyi was able to meet three high-ranking officials of the opposition party: they were Lun Tin, 88, U Lwin, 86 and Aung Shwe, 91. It is the first high-profile meeting between the opposition leader and NLD officials, authorized by the military dictatorship, in 2009. The three leaders are known as "the oldest party leaders still active in the world" and local political experts welcome the encounter as a "positive signal".  

Yesterday, however, the "dear lady" received in her home on University Road, on the banks of Inya Lake in Yangon, the group of lawyers preparing her appeal to the Supreme Court. In August Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years in jail for hosting a U.S. citizen in her home. The penalty, upon directive of the chief Than Shwe, was commuted to 18 months of house arrest.

The hearing is scheduled for December 21 next. The opposition leader spent 14 of the last 20 years in prison or under house arrest. Analysts believe that the latest sentence imposed on her is only a "pretext" to exclude her from political elections, scheduled in 2010.

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