NLD asks for warning of Suu Kyi’s release

Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy party has asked authorities to let them know in advance the date and time of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release in order that security can be prepared.

The Nobel laureate is set to be freed from seven years under house arrest the Saturday, but the date is being eyed with cautious optimism. She was due for release in May last year before being given an additional 18 months on charges of sheltering US citizen John Yettaw.

Party spokesperson Nyan Win, who is also one of Suu Kyi’s lawyers, said that the group had sent a letter to authorities yesterday asking for specific details of her release.

“We have been discussing our schedule for after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release,” he said. “For the first day [of her release] our party members and [admirers] will go and see her”.

The 65-year-old’s son, Kim Aris, whom she has not been allowed any contact with for a decade, is currently in Bangkok applying for a visa to Burma. He last saw her in 2000, when he spent three weeks in Rangoon during one of her rare spells of freedom.

A Burmese government official told AFP this week that authorities are preparing for Suu Kyi’s release, although no official order had yet been issued.

Burma’s top court this morning announced that it had rejected an appeal over her house arrest, which the NLD said was a bid to prove her innocence over the bizarre incident in May last year.

Nyan Win added that Australia’s ambassador to Burma, Michelle Chan, met with NLD leaders yesterday at the house of the party’s deputy chairman Tin Oo, who also spent six years under house arrest.

Chan told NLD members that Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd wished to speak with Suu Kyi upon her release, and that Australia recognised the controversy surrounding Burma’s elections last week, as well as the NLD’s decision not to compete.

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