Supporters of Burma's detained democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, are marking her 61st birthday today-Monday with rallies in Rangoon and other parts of the world to demand her freedom from house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party held a Buddhist prayer vigil at its headquarters in Rangoon. Around 200 party activists chanted slogans calling on Burma's military rulers to release her.
Burmese security personnel kept an eye on the NLD gathering from across the street. Police set up barricades around Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside house and stopped traffic from passing nearby.
Another prayer ceremony took place in the Thai capital, Bangkok, attended by Buddhist monks and Burmese exiles. Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters planned more rallies elsewhere in Asia, as well as Australia, Europe and North America.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for much of the past 16 years. Burma's military government recently extended her confinement order until mid-2007, saying she remains a threat to the state.
The democracy leader has little contact with the outside world. Aung San Suu Kyi is not permitted to invite guests, although Burmese authorities did allow her to meet a visiting U.N. envoy Under Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari last month.
On Saturday, a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners issued a formal declaration of solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi, a fellow Peace Prize laureate.
The U.S. Campaign for Burma says it is organizing demonstrations in over 270 locations throughout the United States, and in 13 other countries.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.