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Burma Accuses West of Fomenting Dissent - 2003-06-29


Burma's military government has accused Western diplomats and foreign media in Rangoon of colluding with the democratic opposition to stir up trouble in the country.

A state-run newspaper published an editorial today (Sunday) saying foreign media have made "slanderous accusations" against the government on behalf of the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The editorial is seen as an attempt by the ruling military to deflect blame for a crackdown against the opposition that followed clashes last month in northern Burma between supporters of the Nobel peace laureate and pro-government groups.

Dissidents say Aung San Suu Kyi was detained May 30th after a mob attacked her motorcade. An estimated 70 people were killed.

The government says the motorcade tried to drive through a group of government supporters, triggering a clash that left four people dead. It says Aung San Suu Kyi was detained to protect her from assassins.

During the crackdown Burma's military rulers also closed down NLD offices across the country and placed the party's leadership under house arrest.

Monday marks one month since Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested. Despite a mounting international outcry, the government has not given any indication about when she might be released.

Information for this report is provided by Ap and AFP.

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