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Burma Frees Two Senior Opposition Leaders, But Suu Kyi Still Under House Arrest - 2004-04-13


Burma's military government has released the head of the opposition National League for Democracy and a senior aide, after they spent nearly a year in detention.

Party officials say chairman Aung Shwe and secretary U Lwin were freed Tuesday from house arrest. But as of late in the day, the party had not been in contact with the two elderly officials.

Still under house arrest is opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. She and dozens of her followers were detained in May of last year, after a violent confrontation in northern Burma between the opposition and a pro-government mob. Burma's ruling generals have said they placed the opposition leaders in detention for their own safety.

Last week, the military government formally invited individuals of the National League for Democracy to attend a constitutional convention set for May 17th. Opposition spokesmen have insisted that Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders be freed in order to participate.

A previous constitutional convention organized in 1993 fell apart after the National League for Democracy walked out, calling the process a sham.

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

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