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Burmese Activist on Hunger Strike: US - 2003-09-01


The United States says Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has begun a hunger strike to protest her detention by the country's military rulers.

The U.S. State Department announced today (Sunday) that it had learned of Aung San Suu Kyi's strike, and it called on Burmese officials to immediately release her and other detainees.

"We are deeply concerned for her safety and well-being," State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said in a press statement. "We again call for her immediate release as well as the release of her National League for Democracy colleagues and all political prisoners in Burma."

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was arrested in late May after a clash between her supporters and pro-government groups. She has not been seen in public since then.

Burma's new prime minister, General Khin Nyunt, promised democratic reforms and new elections in a speech on Saturday, but did not give a timetable for the process.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won Burma's last parliamentary election by a landslide in 1990, but the military refused to relinquish power.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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