Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated democracy campaigner and Nobel Peace laureate, will continue to remain under house arrest in Yangon, following the Myanmar High Court's dismissal of her appeal for freedom. Also known as Supreme Court, this apex judicial forum on Friday pronounced only the operative portion of the judgment, without reading out the reasons.
Ms. Suu Kyi's political associate Nyan Win, who is also the spokesman for her National League for Democracy, said over the telephone from Yangon that a “final appeal” would be filed after consulting her. She was not present in court. That appeal, too, would be filed before the same apex court but the case, if admitted, might be heard by a different judge or bench, said Mr. Nyan Win.
Ms. Suu Kyi is serving an 18-month house arrest under an executive fiat which reduced her sentence imposed in the judgment of a lower court. Upon holding that she was “guilty” of breaking the restrictions of her previous term of house arrest, the lower court had sentenced her to three years' rigorous imprisonment. She has so far spent over 14 years of the past two decades in various forms of detention, including some time in prison.
While the now-dismissed appeal was not related to the executive fiat, her lawyers hope that a judicial overturning of the lower court's verdict would undermine the basis of the administrative order of her current detention.
Regional diplomats and observers are of the view that Friday's development might effectively end the prospects of her being free at the time of a general election promised by Myanmar's military rulers for some time this year.