09/10/2007, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Military junta threatens to ban Aung San Suu Kyi’s party

In a surprise announcement military charges National League for Democracy of fomenting recent protests against higher fuel prices. The government says foreign powers are financing opposition movements and pledges to crackdown on dissent.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Myanmar’s military government has accused opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) of politically attacking the state and threatening it. The party led by the Noble Prize laureate could be banned. The generals running the country claim it is behind ongoing street protests against huge fuel price hikes.

The allegations were made in a statement on state television on Sunday.  Breaking into an afternoon movie, the announcement warned that the NLD could be outlawed.

NLD spokesman Nyan Win denied the party had done anything illegal.

The party, which was the landslide winner of the 1990 elections which the military cancelled, joined the protest movement against the August 15 fuel price hike after it started.

In its surprise statement, the military government also levelled charges against a powerful country allegedly involved in economically helping the opposition groups’ plans, namely the United States, which is accused of providing “US 0,000 under the heading of helping refugees,” which instead was allegedly used for training courses in bomb-making and other terrorist activities.

On Saturday the military accused 13 jailed dissidents of terrorism because they wrote “to international organisations, embassies and governments, requesting assistance.”

The generals also pledged zero tolerance of any form of protest, suggesting that a major crackdown against pro-democracy movements is imminent.

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