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Update on Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi

Last month, Ethical Traveler’s News Feed included a report of rumors in Burma that the health of legally elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi had been deteriorating. When the military junta ruling Burma extended Suu Kyi’s house arrest, these rumors strengthened, despite assurances that a high UN official had seen Suu Kyi and her health was fine.

Days later, reports surfaced of Suu Kyi entering the hospital for a stomach ailment. Despite the fact that she is supposed to undergo regular medical checkups, “The military government began limiting visits to Suu Kyi by her physicians in late 2004, evidently as part of an effort to cut off her possible avenues of communication with others.” (1)

Despite her hospitalization being reported worldwide, both by the National League for Democracy, Suu Kyi’s own party, and the military junta denied that Suu Kyi had been hospitalized. (2)

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that although reports remained unconfirmed, “We would call upon the Burmese government to provide Aung San Suu Kyi any and all medical assistance that she might need and to do so expeditiously and to ensure her safety during any treatment.” (3)

As an open letter last month from Burma Digest suggests, “all the hell will break loose in Burma if she dies in . . . custody, especially if dies in mysterious circumstances.” (4)


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