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Amidst Rumors of Ill Health, Suu Kyi’s Detention Extended

Recent promising reports of talks between the Burmese military junta and the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD), which convincingly won the country’s 1990 elections but was prevented from taking its role in the government, , have been overshadowed by questions of Aung San Suu Kyi’s health and status.

A letter sent by the Burma Digest states that “Recently there are worrying reports that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is in ill health while under detention by military regime. . . . Nobody, apart from her jailers, has seen her for months.”

Aung San Suu Kyi, the legally elected head of Burma and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has spent most of the past 16 years under house arrest.

Her staff has been dismissed, and according to Jim McNalis, “For months, people who have risked getting a look at her house on University Ave. have reported that it is rundown, lifeless and seemingly deserted.”

Although Ibrahim Gambari, second at the UN only to Kofi Annan -was able to visit Suu Kyi last month and has reported that concerns/rumors about her health are unfounded, larger issues remain, especially as, according to NLD spokesman Myint Thein, her doctor has not been allowed to maintain weekly scheduled checkups.

As the letter from Burma Digest points out, “One thing is sure; all the hell will break loose in Burma if she dies in . . . custody, especially if dies in mysterious circumstances.”

On May 28, the military junta announced that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention was being extended, although it was not announced for how long.

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