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Burma Opposition: Free Our Leaders - 2004-04-04


Burma's opposition party says it wants its leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others released from house arrest before it will consider attending a convention drafting a new constitution.

National League for Democracy spokesmen said today (Sunday) that the party would decide on its role in a national convention, which begins meeting on May 17th, only after all its leaders have been released.

The four party leaders still under house arrest include Aung San Suu Kyi, party chairman Aung Shwe, vice chairman Tin Oo and secretary U Lwin.

The four were among scores of NLD members arrested last May following a violent clash between a pro-junta mob and party supporters in northern Burma.

At a news conference in Bangkok Saturday, visiting Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung suggested that Aung San Suu Kyi would be released ahead of the May 17th talks and her party would be invited to participate.

However, he later backtracked from his previous remarks. Officials said he had misunderstood a reporter's question.

Win Aung would confirm only that the NLD would be able to take part in next month's proceedings to begin drafting a new constitution.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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