Burmese Junta Says It Will Release Suu Kyi

Junta claims it will spring activist to 'organizer her party'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2009 5:10 PM CST
Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi exits the Inya Lake Hotel after meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
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(Newser) – Pro-democracy activists are responding skeptically to news that Burma’s ruling junta is considering releasing Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader who has been under house arrest for 14 of the last 20 years. "There is a plan to release her soon so she can organize her party," a government official said today. He did not say Suu Kyi herself would be permitted to run, which would violate the country’s constitution.

Reform advocates warned that the junta has raised the possibility of releasing Suu Kyi in the past, but only as a tactic to seem more legitimate, the Guardian reports. "They've been saying these sorts of things for a long time but they have never delivered on them," said the director of the Burma Campaign UK. "The regime's main concern is get economic sanctions lifted and get approval for the sham elections next year."