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Malaysia Renews Demand for Burma to Release Democracy Leader


Malaysia has renewed its demand for Burma to release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 11 of the past 17 years.

Malaysia has been a strong critic of Burma's military-led government and has used its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to try and push the junta to make democratic reforms.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar reiterated his country's long-stated concern for Aung San Suu Kyi today. He also expressed hope that the recent visit of a United Nations envoy to Burma would bring positive developments.

The envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, met Aung San Suu Kyi last week in Burma in a rare visit allowed by the government. He said he had urged junta leader Senior General Than Shwe to release the democracy leader.

Burma's military leaders took power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy movement. Two years later, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won elections by a landslide, but the junta refused to recognize the results of the vote.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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