Suu Kyi comment “misunderstood”

P. S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE: The release of Myanmar’s celebrated democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in Yangon is not on the cards until almost the end of next year.

Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Nyan Win had on Sunday made a comment, which was taken for a clear hint that Ms. Suu Kyi might be set free in about six months.

At the annual ministerial meeting of the ASEAN here on Monday, Mr. Nyan Win said his ASEAN colleagues had “misunderstood” his remark. He said the limit for detaining the Noble Peace Laureate would not end in six months. ASEAN Chair and Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo summed up Myanmar’s position as: “The limit will be reached six months from May 2009, which is the expiry of the existing one-year detention order.”

Ms. Suu Kyi has been in detention one way or another since her electoral triumph in 1990. The latest phase began in 2002, when she, in a brief period of freedom, rallied people.

The political situation in Myanmar was among the issues that figured in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting on Monday.

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