Suu Kyi eyes security at compound

Sept 1, 2009 (DVB), Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is consulting with an architect over plans to renovate her house with an eye to tightening security, said a party spokesperson.

Security at the Rangoon lakeside compound, in which Suu Kyi has been held under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years, was breached in May this year when US citizen John Yettaw entered the grounds.

During the ensuing trial, Yettaw said that armed guards patrolling outside the compound were aware of him entering, and only threw rocks at him.

Nyan Win, lawyer for Suu Kyi and spokesperson for the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said that Suu Kyi was keen to renovate the house for security purposes.

The NLD leader was last month sentenced to a further 18 months under house arrest, following the Yettaw incident.

"We are consulting with an architect for some draft blue-prints. Mainly we want to install an iron grille at her veranda door for better safety measures," said Nyan Win.

"I showed some draft blue-print designs to Daw Suu and she pointed out changes she wanted to make to it."

He said that it is unclear whether permission is needed from authorities before the renovation takes place.

"That is her house. Does she really need permission from the authorities to repair her own house?" he said.

The compound became the subject of a legal dispute last month, with Suu Kyi's estranged cousin claiming part ownership of the property. Nothing seems to have come of it, however.

Lawyers are set to appeal the sentencing on Thursday, following complaints that the conditions of her house arrest are stricter than before.

During hr last spell under house arrest, Suu Kyi had been allowed regular checkups by her family doctor, Tin Myo Win. The new conditions appear to disallow this.

An appeal to reinstate Tin Myo Win has been lodged, but no reply has come from the authorities, said Nyan Win.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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