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Aung San Suu Kyi Detention And React - 2003-06-02


On May 30, while travelling in the Sagaing Division, pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy members were placed in ‘protective custody’, according to the military government in Burma.

State Department Burma Desk Officer Josh Glazeroff, in a statement, urges the military authorities to release detained leaders and allow the closed National League for Democracy headquarters in Rangoon to reopen immediately.

“We do not consider peaceful statement of views to be subversive acts nor do we believe this detention in consistent with the desire to provide protection,” Mr. Glazeroff told VOA Burmese Service.

Dr. Sein Win, head of the Washington-based exile Burmese government – the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma – condemned what he calls the crackdown on the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leaders by the generals in the State Peace and Development Council.

He said the SPDC has a bounden duty to protect Daw Aung Suu Kyi and the NLD leaders and that it will be held responsible if something happens to them.

The Shan National League for Democracy leader Khun Tun Oo also recounted what he has learned about the situation surrounding the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of her party.

Another political figure U Win Naing – formerly of the late Prime Minister U Nu’s Democracy and Peace Party – expressed his concerns that the situation might go from bad to worse.

He said this development would really dash the hopes of the Burmese people who have been looking forward to some sort of a way out with the help of the international community and particularly from the United States for Burma to overcome its many ills.

Here is the full text of "U.S. State Department Burma desk officer Josh Glazeroff's statement to VOA Burmese Service on the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma"

The question is: What is the U.S. government’s reaction to reports that Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy leaders have been detained and that NLD headquarters in Rangoon has been closed. And the answer is:

“According to news reports, a riot broke out on May 30th in Dapayin in Sagaing Division, northwest of Mandalay, when Aung San Suu Kyi was travelling. Reportedly four died and 50 were injured.

According to a report that we have not been able to confirm, Aung San Suu Kyi’s car was hit by gunfire. She was not hurt, but was taken with 19 members of her travelling party to Ye-U in Sagaing Division. Burmese officials have stated that Aung San Suu Kyi was temporarily placed under the protection of local authorities. We hope that any intention is, indeed, momentary and she and those travelling with her will be released immediately, in line with the official statement that she was detained temporarily for protection.

We have also received reports that National League for Democracy headquarters was closed in Rangoon. Closing of NLD headquarters is not consistent with the regime’s interest in providing protection. We urge the regime to allow NLD headquarters to reopen immediately.

We understand that NLD spokesman U Lwin and CEC (Central Executive Committee) member U Nyunt Wai have been detained under Section 10 B of Burma’s Public Security Act which allows the government to detain subversive elements for up to one year without trial.

We do not consider peaceful statement of views to be subversive acts nor do we believe this detention in consistent with the desire to provide protection. We urge the regime to release these leaders immediately.”

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