|06-23-2004, 08:38 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia
Local Time: 10:04 PM
Myanmar opposition celebrates Suu Kyi's 59th birthday
The opposition National League for Democracy on Saturday celebrated the 59th birthday of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest.
Nearly 400 people attended the ceremony at the NLD's head office in Yangon.
The women's sector of the NLD, which has marked June 19 as Myanmar Women's Day since 1999, released a statement expressing hope for the immediate release of Suu Kyi.
Women were seen chanting "Free Daw Suu Kyi" as they left the party's head office.
After the ceremony, about 200 NLD members, mostly women, marched to the Shwedagon Pagoda nearby to pray for Suu Kyi's health and for her release.
The junta on Friday released six NLD members detained in connection with a bloody clash in May last year, leaving Suu Kyi and NLD vice chairman U Tin Oo the last NLD officials to remain in detention over the incident. But there were no signs that they would be freed any time soon.
Suu Kyi and other key NLD members were placed under "protective custody" and NLD offices across the country were closed after what the junta says were clashes between her followers and pro-government people in May last year. NLD members say they were attacked by junta-backed thugs.
The Nobel peace laureate was held incommunicado for four months at an undisclosed location, but was allowed to return to her lakeside residence in the capital after undergoing surgery last September.
She has led the fight for democracy in Myanmar through the NLD, which won the country's 1990 elections by a landslide but was never allowed to take up seats in parliament.
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