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Junta may free Suu Kyi for poll: Diplomat
SINGAPORE, Nov 9 (Agencies):
Published on 9 Nov. 2009 11:16 PM IST
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Myanmar's military-ruled government may release pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi soon so she can play a role in next year's general elections, according to a senior Myanmar diplomat. The remarks by Min Lwin, rare for a Myanmar government official on an overseas visit were in line with vague comments in recent years by the junta that it intends to free Suu Kyi soon. But officials have given no time frame and have made no real moves to release her despite hinting they would. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years, and not been able to speak publicly since she was last taken into detention in May 2003. A court recently sentenced the 64-year-old to an additional 18 months of house arrest for briefly sheltering an uninvited American in a trial that drew global condemnation. That would prevent her from participating in next year's elections, the first in two decades, unless she is granted a special release. "There is a plan to release her soon ... so she can organise her party," Min Lwin, a director-general in the Foreign Ministry, told The Associated Press at the Manila airport before boarding a flight to Singapore en route to Yangon. He refused to elaborate, and it was not clear if he meant that Suu Kyi would be allowed to campaign.

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