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Members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) hold her portraits as they gather at the party's headquarters today.
Members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) hold her portraits as they gather at the party's headquarters today.
Image: Khin Maung Win/AP/Press Association Images

Aung San Suu Kyi early release faces setback

Burmese leader had reportedly signed release papers allowing her to leave house arrest today, but the Guardian’s reporter in Rangoon says release will actually be delayed.
Nov 12th 2010, 1:19 PM 356 0

SPECULATION THAT BURMESE PRO-DEMOCRACY leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be released a day earlier than expected could prove premature.

Speaking to Morning Ireland, Asia-based Irish journalist Simon Roughneen said that Kyi has reportedly signed official papers at her home which will allow her to be released today in Burma.

Roughneen said that while the official release date is tomorrow, speculation was circulating this morning that the military leaders would prefer to release her a day early because 13 is regarded as an unlucky number in Burma.

However, the Guardian’s correspondent in Rangoon said that Suu Kyi’s demands for unconditional release mean that she is likely to spend another night under house arrest. The junta want to restrict her from travelling around the country and meeting with supporters.

The anti-junta Burmese publication The Irawaddy reports that around 500 of her supporters have begun gathering at the National League for Democracy’s headquarters in Rangoon.

Running for the NLD, Suu Kyi was voted the country’s leader in 1990, but was prevented from taking power by the military junta and put under house arrest.

Her detention has been repeatedly extended, and she has been held under house arrest for about 14 of the last 20 years.

One of her party colleagues said he’d believe her release when he saw it.

Rebel armies prepare for crackdown

Despite international outcry over alleged election fraud, pro-military parties succeeded in retaining power in the recent national elections. Anti-junta fighting which broke out in Burma near the Thai border on election day are continuing in eastern parts of the country.

Al Jazeera reports that two of Burma’s rebel armies have now joined forces to combat government forces. The rebels are expecting a stronger government crackdown after the new parliament forms:

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