05/29/2006, 00.00
MYANMAR
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Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest extended, a "domestic issue" for ruling junta

The house arrest was set to end on Saturday, May 27, but was extended the previous day by a year. The Nobel Prize laureate has spent 10 of the last 17 years under house arrest.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest is an internal affair. For Myanmar's Foreign Minister Nyan Win, who is in Malaysia for a two-day ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, "[t]his is not an international issue. This is only a domestic issue."

The minister's declaration is the first public statement by Myanmar authorities since Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest was extended by a year last Friday when a police officer went to the home of the pro-democracy leader to inform her of their decision. The previous order was set to end on Saturday, May 27.

Suu Kyi, 60, has spent 10 of the last 17 years under house arrest. In addition to her, Myanmar authorities have detained hundreds of other pro-democracy activists and political dissidents.

A visit to Myanmar last week by UN Undersecretary-General Ibrahim Gambari—who, surprisingly for the junta, was allowed to see Suu Kyi—had fuelled optimism that she would be freed.

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