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Burma's FM: Aug San Suu Kyi Will Not be Detained Indefinitely - 2003-07-28


Burma's foreign minister says opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be detained indefinitely by the country's military rulers.

Speaking today (Monday) during a visit to Indonesia, Win Aung refused to say when the Nobel peace laureate will be freed, but insisted the military is, in his words, "working on it."

Aung San Suu Kyi has not been seen in public since the military detained her May 30th, after a clash between her supporters and a pro-government group.

Win Aung is in Jakarta for talks with Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and other senior officials. Indonesia chairs the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the regional group is under pressure to win Aung San Suu Kyi's release.

On Sunday, Burma's military accused the democracy leader and her National League for Democracy of plotting to overthrow the government.

The government alleged the NLD planned to seize power by inciting monks, students, workers and opposition parties to rise up against the ruling council.

The NLD has not responded to the accusations -- most of the leadertship remains under house arrest.

On Saturday, the military announced the arrest of 12 people it accused of planning to carry out assassinations and bomb attacks to create civil unrest.

Thailand recently unveiled a plan to mediate Aung San Suu Kyi's release at a meeting of Asian and European countries in Indonesia. The Rangoon government has indicated it is not likely to accept Bangkok's offer.

The NLD won Burma's last parliamentary election by a landslide in 1990, but the military refused to relinquish power. The current government came to power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy uprising. Generals have ruled Burma since 1962.

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

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