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Aung San Suu Kyi Begins New Trip on Freedom Anniversary - 2003-05-06


Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has marked the first anniversary of her release from house arrest by embarking on a month-long trip to the northern part of the country.

A spokesman for her National League for Democracy party says Aung San Suu Kyi left Rangoon today (Tuesday), bound for Kachin state, where she plans to open party offices.

She is traveling to Kachin with party vice chairman Tin Oo and several youth members of her party. The trip is her longest since Burma's military government released her from 19 months of house arrest last May.

Meanwhile, the United States expressed regret that Burma's military government has failed to open a dialogue with the democratic opposition . A State Department spokesman (Richard Boucher) said the rulers of Burma continue to oppress people and limit the activities of Aung San Suu Kyi's party.

Aung San Suu Kyi's party won national elections in 1990, but Burma's military government would not allow them to take power.

Confidence-building talks between the military government and the National League for Democracy were launched in 2000 in an effort to end the deadlock between the two sides. But Aung San Suu Kyi has complained about the lack of progress in the talks.

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

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