Rules set for Suu Kyi's house arrest

Aug 11, 2009 (DVB), A list of conditions under which Aung San Suu Kyi will live out her house arrest has been laid down by the courtroom, following an announcement that she could be released early if she abides by them.

The Rangoon prison courtroom today handed Burma's opposition leader an 18-month sentence, commuted from three years with hard labour after an interjection from junta leader Than Shwe, on charges of breaching conditions of her house arrest.

The regulations under which she will be kept in detention largely mirror those of her previous spell under house arrest, and include restrictions on contact with the outside world.

Suu Kyi will be kept in the compound on the shores of Rangoon's Inya lake which belonged to Suu Kyi's mother and which has been the subject of a legal battle over ownership, with claims from both her estranged brother and cousin that they hold part-ownership.

It was at this house, which she has been kept in detention for nearly 14 of the last 20 years, that the visit by US citizen John Yettaw in May triggered the charges she has been found guilty of.

With reports that security is now beefed up around the residence, Suu Kyi will have to contend with at least eight regulations which if adhered to, according to the government, could see her released early.

The only guests Suu Kyi is allowed are her doctor and the few visitors, likely only senior level diplomats, whom the junta authorises. She is only allowed to watch and read state-run media and is denied any leave of her compound.

According to a statement read out in the courtroom today by Burma's home affairs minister, General Maung Oo, "if she has concerns about the regulations, she can contact the authorities".

Her two caretakers, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, will again live with Suu Kyi at the house after they too had three-year prison sentences commuted to 18 months under house arrest.

According to reports, government troops charged with guarding the house have again taken position around the compound in preparation for her return. Since being brought to court in May, she has been kept in a unit inside Rangoon's Insein prison.

Following the verdict announcement, around 3000 people marched through Rangoon and were dispersed by police, who arrested around 70 of the protestors.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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