Burma generals ‘sign Aung San Suu Kyi release order’

BBC News
12 November 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years

Reports from Burma say military authorities have signed an order authorising the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But hopes she would be freed on Friday were dashed: there has been no official confirmation of a release order.

A leader of her NLD party told 2,000 supporters gathered at its headquarters to go home and return on Saturday.

Ms Suu Kyi has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, and her house arrest term expires on Saturday.

There has been increased police activity outside her house in Rangoon, Burma’s largest city, but no formal statement from military officials.

However, Ms Suu Kyi is not expected to accept a conditional release if it excludes her from political activity.

The 65-year-old was originally due to be released last year, but a case involving an American who swam across Inya Lake to her home, claiming he was on a mission to save her, prompted the latest 18-month detention.

‘Significant impact’
The BBC is banned from reporting in Burma but correspondent Alastair Leithead is monitoring developments from the capital of neighbouring Thailand, Bangkok.

All day rumours have circulated that Aung Sang Suu Kyi could soon be free, and all day the crowds outside the offices of the NLD have grown.

The building is constantly watched by government intelligence agents, yet still they came, defiantly wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the face of their icon.

News spread that the papers for Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s release had been signed, though no one could actually confirm that, the anticipation grew.

The crowd moved off along the road towards the lakeside house that has been the pro-democracy leader’s prison for so long.

Then the word came that the release would not after all be today, but perhaps tomorrow, and still no official statement from the military government.

Aung Sang Suu Kyi and her loyal supporters must, it seems, wait a little longer.

He says a number of sources inside Burma have told the BBC that documents authorising Ms Suu Kyi’s release have been signed.

Officials have reportedly visited her home in University Avenue to deliver them.

The article, with video, continues at BBC News.

Comments are closed.