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Burma's Opposition Believes Aung San Suu Kyi Release Coming Soon - 2004-04-19


Leaders of Burma's National League for Democracy (NLD) say they believe Aung San Suu Kyi will be released from house arrest in a day or two.

NLD chairman Aung Shwe, who himself was released from house arrest only last week, made the comment to reporters after a meeting today (Monday) at the party's newly reopened headquarters in Rangoon.

Pro-democracy leader and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for nearly a year after a confrontation between a pro-government mob and N-L-D supporters.

Sunday the U.N.'s envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, also said all indications are that she will be released from house arrest in the next few days.

Mr. Ismail spoke in Malaysia, one day after EU foreign ministers agreed Burma can join a Euro-Asian economic and political partnership if it frees Aung San Suu Kyi.

EU officials also said Burma must allow opposition party members to participate in next month's constitutional convention if it wants to become a member of the Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM.

The group brings together foreign ministers and senior officials from 25 Asian and European countries. But Burma has been excluded amid concern over the country's human rights situation and Rangoon's crackdown on political dissent.

Burma's military government has already invited the National League for Democracy to take part in the constitutional convention, but party leaders say they will wait for the release of all their leaders before deciding on participation.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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