05/27/2008, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Aung San Suu Kyi gets six more months under house arrest

The sanction against Burma’s pro-democracy leader was set to expire today but the junta extended it for another six months. Some 20 NLD activists are arrested as they march towards the Nobel Prize laureate’s home where she has lived segregated since 2003.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Burma's ruling junta has decided for the umpteenth time that Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement, will remain under house arrest for six more months. Her detention was scheduled to expire today.

The 62-year-old Suu Kyi has spent more than 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest.

Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won a resounding election victory in 1990, but was denied power by the military who have been in power since 1962.

Since 2003 Ms Suu Kyi has been segregated in her Yangon home, closely monitored.

The decision to extend her detention is likely to raise tensions with Western powers who have pledged tens of millions of dollars in relief aid to Myanmar after it was hit by cyclone Nargis.

The natural disaster left some 134,000 people dead or missing.

Ms Suu Kyi's detention has long been the cause of friction between the junta and the international community.

Today members of the NLD took advantage of her plight to slam the results of the sham referendum that the military will use to legitimise their stranglehold over the country.

According to official figures 93 per cent of voters endorsed the new constitution but cases of fraud and intimidations were reported throughout the country.

Before the extension of Ms Suu Kyi’s house arrest was announced police detained about 20 NLD activists as they peacefully marched to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's home.

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