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Burma regime allows Suu Kyi to receive mail

September 12, 2008

From The Guardian

Concessions come amid concerns at Nobel peace prize winner’s hunger strike in protest at long detention

Aung San Suu Kyi refused food deliveries for three weeks.

Burma’s junta has relaxed some restrictions placed on the country’s democratically elected opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, her lawyer said today.

The military regime will now allow the 63-year-old Nobel peace prize winner to receive mail regularly from her family and read some foreign news publications.

The apparent concessions come amid concern at Suu Kyi’s hunger strike in protest at her long detention. She has refused daily food deliveries to her home for more than three weeks.

“She will most probably accept her food deliveries as some of the conditions she had asked for were smoothed out,” said her lawyer, Kyi Win.

The junta has not made any comment.

Among Suu Kyi’s requests were to be allowed mail from her two sons, who live in Britain, and other family members, Kyi Win said. Up to now some mail had been permitted and some blocked, he said.

The lawyer did not say how long Suu Kyi has been denied access to foreign news publications, but said she had now been given permission to read “Time, Newsweek, etc”.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) overwhelmingly won a 1990 general election but the result was ignored by the junta. She has been under house arrest without trial for 12 of the past 18 years, and continuously since May 2003.

She lives in a lakeside home in Ragoon, Burma’s biggest city and former capital, with two female companions who help take care of the house.

Suu Kyi had demanded greater freedom of movement for the two women, who were previously barred from leaving the home. They will now be allowed out during the daytime, the lawyer said.

She will be allowed monthly medical checks by her personal doctor, which the junta had previously promised but then blocked.

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