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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 Published at 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Suu Kyi meeting rejected

Aung San Suu Kyi trapped outside Rangoon

The Burmese military authorities have rejected a request that American and Japanese diplomats be allowed to meet the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

[ image: The government accuses her of a publicity stunt]
The government accuses her of a publicity stunt
Ms Suu Kyi is spending a sixth consecutive day of protest in her car at a military checkpoint 20 miles outside Rangoon.

She is demanding to be allowed to travel freely around Burma, but the authorities have accused her of merely staging a publicity stunt.

The Burmese foreign minister, Onh Gyaw, said he did not feel that a meeting was needed at the moment.

There have been reports that Ms Suu Kyi's health is deteriorating, but Mr Gyaw said he believed that she was in good condition.

Correspondents say her welfare has been a major talking point at the Asean meeting in the capital of the Philippines, Manila.

[ image: Madeleine Albright: called for talks]
Madeleine Albright: called for talks
Earlier, the American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, speaking at the meeting, called on the Burmese authorities to open talks with the opposition.

Foreign governments have said they hold the Burmese military responsible for Ms Suu Kyi's wellbeing.

The British Foreign Office minister, Derek Fatchett, demanded that foreign ambassadors in Burma should be granted immediate access to Ms Suu Kyi.


Ms Suu Kyi, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was stopped at the checkpoint on Friday as she was going to meet political supporters.

According to local people, she has run out of food and water.

Officials from her National League for Democracy Party (NLD) say they fear she will collapse from heat exhaustion.

A military ambulance is on hand, and she has been seen by her doctor. The military authorities say they are willing to provided fresh supplies but she has not requested them yet.

Although the Burmese military authorities say there is no formal restriction on Aung San Suu Kyi, it is the third time she has been stopped while trying to visit party workers outside Rangoon.

Tension has risen between the military and the NLD since Ms Suu Kyi called for a meeting of a parliament in August consisting of candidates elected in the May 1990 elections.

The NLD won the elections but the military ignored the results and has refused to convene parliament.

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