The United States has joined the list of politicians, performers and human rights activists worldwide in pressuring Burma to release a detained opposition leader as she prepares to celebrate her 60th birthday Sunday.
A U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack Thursday said Aung San Suu Kyi is a beacon of hope for freedom in Burma --- and called upon Burma's military junta to release her.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, also echoed similar calls today for her release.
To mark her 60th birthday, protests are planned at several Burmese embassies worldwide -- including in the United States, London, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Pretoria.
And on Sunday, a popular U.S. rock band, R.E.M., plans to broadcast a song dedicated to the pro-democracy leader into Burma via satellite television.
The U.S. Campaign for Burma says the group will perform a song in her honor during a concert in Dublin, Ireland.