Aung San Suu Kyi Remains Under House Arrest

Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk

Oct. 2, 2009 - Lack of freedom of speech worsens the waste of talent in an impoverished country, writes new UK ambassador in Rangoon.

Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi said they would appeal against the 18-month sentence imposed for breaking the terms of her house arrest as world leaders stepped up criticism of the Burmese regime.

The sentence – announced yesterday after a court had initially sentenced the 64-year-old pro-democracy leader to three years' hard labour – means she will play no part in elections the country's military junta has promised to hold next year.

After being driven home in a six-car convoy last night, Aung San Suu Kyi found a barbed wire fence had been erected near the entrance to her home while she was standing trial. A member of her National League for Democracy (NLD) had tied yellow ribbons to her front gate and nearby trees.

The US president, Barack Obama, joined other world leaders in calling for her immediate release.

Obama said the court's "unjust decision reminds us of the thousands of other political prisoners in Burma who, like Aung San Suu Kyi, have been denied their liberty because of their pursuit of a government that respects the will, rights and aspirations of all Burmese citizens.

"They, too, should be freed. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away."

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