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U.S. Concerned by Harrassment of Burmese Opposition - 2003-01-03


State Department spokesman Richard Boucher issued a statement in support of the Nobel laureate, following her press conference on Tuesday in which she said local authorities were sometimes obstructive during her political travels.

At the State department Thursday regular briefing Mr. Boucher said, "We've called on the Burmese regime to allow political parties to carry their message to the Burmese people in safety. We've called on the regime to join with the National League for Democracy and representatives of Burma's ethnic communities in a real dialogue."

"As she said in her press conference of December 31, the Burmese people deserve better government and a better standard of living and every effort needs to be made to achieve that goal in 2003", he added.

Mr. Boucher continues, "we believe she should be allowed to carry out her activities, and all political parties should, with safety and without hinderance."

The Burmese Military regime promised when it released Aung San Suu Kyi's from her latest period of house arrest last year that she would be able to go about her political activity free from official harassment.

In an interview with VOA Burmese Service on Tuesday, U Lwin, the spokesperson of Burma’s opposition party NLD said Aung San Suu Kyi noted two things during her press conference at the party headquarters in Rangoon. She said her recent trips were successful for her party organizing activities but regretted the local authorities’ intimidation of the townspeople to prevent them from welcoming her.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner also acknowledged that no dialogue had taken place between the military government and NLD since her release from house arrest last May although in certain areas she said some progress were made.

Meanwhile the Britain's foreign office minister has expressed deep concern over reports of the Burmese regime's harassment on supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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