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UN Officials Try To Gain Access To Aung San Suu Kyi - 2003-06-04


International concern is mounting over the recent detention of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior opposition party leaders.

United Nations officials say it is still not clear whether the UN special envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, will travel to Rangoon as scheduled Friday. UN officials are trying to gain access to Aung San Suu Kyi, who Burma's military government says is in protective custody.

The chairman of Thailand's Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Kraisak Choonavan, has called on members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to review their relations with Burma's military government.

ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Young has said his group will ask the military government why it is detaining Aung San Suu Kyi, but will not pressure Rangoon into releasing her.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain has called on Washington to isolate Burma's military government.

Mr. McCain urged United States and European parliaments to ban Burmese imports, and asked the Bush administration to freeze the U.S. assets of Burmese leaders. He said Burma's government will fail just as surely as the pro-democracy movement, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, will succeed.

Aung San Suu Kyi and several of her supporters were taken into custody after four people died Friday in clashes between pro-democracy and pro-government protesters.

Human Rights Watch called on Burma to allow the United Nations to conduct an independent probe into the clashes.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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