Myanmar’s detained leader Suu Kyi meets lawyer

August 17th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Aug 17 (DPA) Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been permitted a rare meeting with her lawyer, the second this month, giving rise to speculation about her possible release, opposition party sources said Sunday. Suu Kyi, who has been under continuous house arrest for the past five years, was allowed to meet her lawyer Kyi Win for five hours Sunday morning, according to National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Nyan Win. An earlier meeting took place on Aug 8, the first since her detention.

Suu Kyi, who heads the NLD party that won the 1990 general election, has been kept in near complete isolation since May 30, 2003, when she was charged with disturbing the peace by campaigning in the provinces.

Under Myanmar’s emergency law, political prisoners can only be kept under detention for a maximum of five years on charges of disturbing the peace but Suu Kyi’s detention was last May extended for another six months, raising legal questions.

Myanmar’s ruling junta has been sending mixed signals about the duration of Suu Kyi’s incarceration.

There have been hints that she may be released within six months, but many observers believe it is unlikely that she will be released before the next general election, slated for 2010.

The NLD party won the 1990 polls by a landslide, but the military government, which has ruled since 1962, refused to accept the results of the poll. Suu Kyi has been kept under house arrest for around 13 of the past 18 years.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, is widely seen as Myanmar’s democracy icon, and is one of the few opposition leaders with enough popular and international support to undermine the military’s monopoly of political power in the south-east Asian nation.

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