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The Age (Australia)

Gates to Open for Aung San Suu Kyi


BURMA'S pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to be freed from house arrest today, after being locked in negotiations with the military last night.

The regime that has detained her for the past seven years - and for 15 of the last 21 years - signed the order authorising her release yesterday afternoon.

But Ms Suu Kyi was understood to be demanding an unconditional release, while the regime wants to restrict her from travelling around the country and limit her freedom to meet with supporters.

At dusk last night the co-founder of Ms Suu Kyi's now-banned National League for Democracy party, U Win Tin, appeared at the military roadblock outside the gates of her house where hundreds of supporters had gathered.

He said that Ms Suu Kyi had been told she "could go this day", but that it was likely it would be one more night before she emerged in public because of an impasse in negotiations.

Her imminent release comes as the junta that jailed her claimed a crushing election win. Expectation has been building for months that the Nobel peace laureate would be freed.

In Rangoon yesterday afternoon, truckloads of armed police in riot gear could be seen massing at points around the city, in case protests broke out.

Ms Suu Kyi's lawyer, U Nyan Win, said ‘‘The Lady'', as she is known across Burma, would address supporters and the media on her release. ‘‘She needs to speak to the Burmese people but the world too.''

With AFP

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