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ASEAN Mulls Sending Delegation to Burma - 2003-07-03


Burma's neighbors in Southeast Asia are considering sending a delegation to Rangoon, to urge the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia's Ong Keng Yong, says the mission would be a good idea if it could achieve what he called "concrete results." He said the group's current chair -- Indonesia -- will decide whether to proceed.

An ASEAN mission to Burma on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi would be another departure from the group's policy of not interfering in the domestic affairs of its 10 members. Last month, ASEAN issued a statement urging Burma to free the opposition leader.

She has been detained since May 30th after clashes between her supporters and pro-government demonstrators. The military has said the detention is for her own protection.

Meanwhile, the International Red Cross says it is optimistic Burma's ruling generals will allow it to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. The local Red Cross delegate, Michel Ducreaux, says he led a team that recently visited with dozens of other detained opposition figures.

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

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