Conflicting reports over Daw Suu hunger strike rumours

Sep 8, 2008 (DVB), The National League for Democracy and the Burmese regime have offered conflicting responses to rumours that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is staging a hunger strike.

The NLD said in a statement on 5 September that it was concerned by the fact that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had not been accepting her daily food basket for about three weeks.

The party said it had learned that she was refusing food as a protest against her unlawful detention, the treatment of her two live-in helpers and the authorities' refusal to allow her doctor to visit between January and August this year.

State police chief Khin Yi said in a news conference in Naypyidaw that there was no indication that the pro-democracy leader was staging a hunger strike.

Khin Yi said his assessment was based on reports from her lawyer and doctor who had recently visited her, but would not confirm whether the authorities are carrying out their own checks.

NLD spokesman U Nyan Win's said that Khin Yi's words had been deliberately vague.

"It doesn't mean that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is not staging a hunger strike," Nyan Win said.

"It only means that they have had no indication that she is staging a hunger strike," he said.

"More worrying than the issue of whether they should confirm it or not is the way they are not showing any responsibility."

Separately, the NLD also confirmed on Saturday that one of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's helpers had been admitted to hospital the day before.

Nyan Win said he had tried to visit the woman, whose mother Daw Khin Khin Win is also Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's helper and companion.

"What I can confirm is that she is taking treatment at the hospital on Barr Street," Nyan Win said.

"I went there but was unable to meet her because of hospital regulations, so I can only say that she has been hospitalised," he said.

"I cannot tell you why she is in hospital because I do not know the reason; it would be inappropriate for me to link this incident to our statement."

As Khin Khin Win is in the hospital with her daughter, there is also concern that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is alone in her home.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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