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Asean wants Myanmar to release Suu Kyi

BANGKOK, 19 May 2009: Thailand, the current Asean chair and a close neighbour of Myanmar, today expressed its grave concern over the move by the country’s military junta to try opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a statement, it reminded the Myanmar government that Asean leaders had called for the immediate release of the Nobel Peace laureate.

“Furthermore, the government of Myanmar, as a responsible member of Asean, has the responsibility to protect and promote human rights. It is therefore called upon to provide timely and adequate medical care to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as well as to accord her humane treatment with dignity,” the Thai Foreign Ministry said.

Thailand said that with the eyes of the international community on Myanmar at present, the honour and the credibility of the Myanmar government were at stake.

Thailand, as the Asean chair, reaffirmed the regional grouping’s readiness to contribute constructively to the national reconciliation process and the peaceful transition of democracy in Myanmar.

The democracy fighter was put on trial Monday for allegedly violating her house arrest condition by allowing American war veteran John Yettaw, who apparently swam across the Inya Lake, to stay at her heavily-guarded house for two days.

Suu Kyi, who has been in detention without trial for more than 13 of the past 19 years and was supposed to be released on 27 May, faces five years in jail if found guilty. — Bernama

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