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Burma government ‘responsible’ for Yettaw incident

May 18, 2009 (DVB), A renowned former Burmese political prisoner has pinned the blame for the United States' citizen who entered Aung San Suu Kyi's compound on 4 May squarely on the government, and has labelled today's trial "bogus".

U Win Tin, a journalist and member of the National League for Democracy's central committee, was released last September after spending 19 years in prison, including spells at Insein prison where Suu Kyi is being held.

"The government has control over all the security measures in the country and it's completely up to them to whether or not to give the American a chance to enter her house," he said.

"So the government is responsible for what happened."

Suu Kyi, her two caretakers, and the US citizen John William Yettaw, all face trial today at a court hearing inside Insein prison.

Yettaw faces charges related to trespassing and breaching of immigration laws, while Suu Kyi has been accused of breaching conditions of her house arrest by allowing Yettaw to stay at her compound, where she has been held under house arrest for the past six years.

"There are about 250 security personnel around Daw Suu's house, including three outposts guarding the neighbourhood, the road at the front and Inya lake," said exiled former Burmese ambassador to the United States, Aung Linn Htut.

"It is no way possible for someone to infiltrate such heavy security."

Meanwhile, journalist and Burma expert Larry Jagan said that the Burmese junta may not have been prepared for the outcry from the international community over Suu Kyi's trial.

"I think that the leaders of the Burmese junta must be surprised at the international reactions to what they have done," he said.

"And I think that the junta are going to realize that if they pursue this avenue they are going to become increasingly isolated not just from the West but also from their Asian neighbours."

He added that should Suu Kyi be found guilty, people may take to the streets again, as they did in September 2007.

"There’s already pent up anger because of the 2007 crackdown on the monks," he said.

"We’ve seen local communities invigorated and empowered by their efforts, their own efforts to help people during and in the aftermath of the cyclone.

"This is a different Burma than it was two years ago and I think that the generals have miscalculated and I think the Burmese people, if she is sentenced to five years, will vent their anger on the street."

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw


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