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UN Envoy to Visit Burma Despite Aung San Suu Kyi Detention - 2003-06-05


The United Nations special envoy to Burma says he plans to proceed with a trip to Rangoon despite concerns over the detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Razali Ismail says he received UN approval to make the trip, and will travel Friday. He says he will demand that Burma's military government allow him to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, who has not been heard from since the military took her into so-called "protective custody" last week.

Mr. Razali says he will also demand the release of the Nobel laureate and all other detained opposition leaders.

News reports say Aung San Suu Kyi was injured last Friday when pro-government demonstrators smashed the windshield of her car during clashes in northern Burma. But the reports have not been confirmed.

In another development, the Rangoon government said today (Thursday) the country's universities would soon re-open. The schools were shut down Monday -- apparently to prevent possible protests after Aung San Suu Kyi was taken into custody.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers are moving to impose sanctions on Burma.

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives introduced measures Wednesday that would ban Burmese imports, freeze U.S. held assets and bar Burmese government leaders from entering the United States.

Other proposals would obligate the United States to oppose loans to Burma by the International Monetary Fund and similar institutions.

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