Myanmar’s detained opposition leader Suu Kyi meets lawyer

August 11th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, Aug 11 (DPA) Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to meet her lawyer for the first time after five years under house arrest, opposition sources have said. Suu Kyi met with her lawyer Kyi Win Friday at her residence in Yangon, where she has been detained since May 2003, said National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Nyan Win Sunday.

“Authorities allowed her lawyer U Kyi Win to visit her house on Aug 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.,” Nyan Win, NLD’s spokesman said in a telephone interview.

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.

The detention followed an attack by pro-military thugs on Suu Kyi’s convoy in Tepeyin, Sagaing division in northern Myanmar. Several of her followers were killed in the melee.

Under Myanmar 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.

Suu Kyi’s NLD party won the 1990 polls by a landslide, but the party has been denied power by the military for 18 years and she has been kept under house arrest for around 13 of the past 18 years.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. Ironically, it was Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, who fathered the military establishment as part of the country’s independence movement from its former colonial master Britain.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, is deemed Myanmar’s democracy icon, and 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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