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Burma Steps up Campaign Against Aung San Suu Kyi - 2003-07-07


Burma's ruling military is stepping up its media campaign against detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of sowing chaos in the country.

State-run newspapers published a commentary today (Monday), purportedly by a disgruntled member of the opposition, accusing the opposition leader of instigating a clash between her supporters and pro-government groups in late May. Opposition sources have said Aung San Suu Kyi's caravan was attacked and as many as 70 people were killed.

The leader of the National League for Democracy was detained after the clash and remains in military custody, despite growing international pressure to release her.

Japan suspended new aid to Burma. The United States and the European Union have threatened to impose tough new economic sanctions.

On Sunday, state-run newspapers quoted the military's intelligence chief, General Khin Nyunt, as saying sanctions imposed to win the Nobel peace laureate's freedom amount to bullying and a breach of international law.

The general said every country has the right to prevent unrest. The comment was seen as an indication that Aung San Suu Kyi is not likely to be released soon.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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