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Burmese Exiles Say Aung San Suu Kyi Recovering from Surgery - 2003-09-19


Burmese exiles in Thailand say detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is recovering at a hospital in Rangoon after successful surgery for a gynecological problem.

In an interview with Reuters news agency in Bangkok, a spokesman for the exiled National Coalition Government of Burma said Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's personal physician, Doctor Tin Myo Win, was present during the operation Thursday.

The spokesman, Zinn Linn, said the Nobel laureate is to stay in the hospital for a few days, but he did not have details of her condition.

Security around Rangoon's Asia Royal Hospital is tight. Officers in plain clothes were guarding the ninth floor where Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was admitted Wednesday.

On Thursday, the United States expressed concern for Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman (Nancy Beck) repeated a call for Burma's military government to release her and all other political prisoners.

Meanwhile, the foreign secretary of the Philippines, Blas Ople, warned Burma not to reject a visit from an Indonesian envoy seeking Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's release. Mr. Ople said the envoy, Ali Alatas, offers Burma an opportunity to resolve the issue in a manner that is acceptable to all.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has been held out of public contact at an undisclosed location since May 30th. She was detained after a clash between her supporters and a pro-government mob in the north of the country.

Burma's ruling generals cracked down on the democracy movement after her detention. Their action ended a fragile reconciliation process brokered in October, 2000, by the United Nations special envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail.

Since her detention, the United States, Japan and the European Union have imposed harsh sanctions on the ruling generals in Rangoon, including freezing their assets and refusing to issue them visas.

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