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Burmese Authorities Obstruct Aung San Suu Kyi's Western Burma Tour - 2002-12-19


Burma's pro-democracy opposition is accusing the country's military government of trying to stop people in northwestern Burma from seeing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The National League for Democracy says Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi found streets deserted when she arrived in the northwestern town of Maruk-Oo Tuesday night. Party officials say authorities told townspeople not to go out to greet her.

On Wednesday, the party says, authorities tried to use batons and water hoses to disperse 20,000 Aung San Suu Kyi supporters, until she climbed on top of a fire engine to stop them. There were no reports of violence at the rally. No violence was reported.

Burma's military government has not commented on the opposition's charges.

Aung San Suu Kyi is in northwest Burma to set up offices and garner support for her National League for Democracy party.

This is Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's fifth political tour since being freed from 19 months of house arrest in May, but it is the first time the 1991 Nobel peace laureate has clashed with the military government. As a condition of her release, she was promised freedom of movement.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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