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US: Aung San Suu Kyi Not on Hunger Strike - 2003-09-09


The United States says it now believes detained Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is not on a hunger strike.

A State Department spokesman said Monday the Bush administration is aware that two members of the International Red Cross visited the Nobel peace laureate at the end of last week, and she told them she was not refusing food.

The comments come just over a week after the United States reported Aung San Suu Kyi had begun a hunger strike. The spokesman said that report had been based on "credible information" and was made public out of concern for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma has denied the opposition leader is on a hunger strike.

Rangoon again criticized the United States Monday for what it called "a series of false claims" against the country.

Meanwhile, Burma announced it has named a commission to oversee the drafting of a new constitution, though no timetable was given for the process.

The special United Nations envoy to Burma urged the international community to give Rangoon time to implement promised political reforms. Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail says Burma's so-called "road map" to democracy, which calls for democratic reforms and new elections, should be given a chance to work.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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