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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 16:26 GMT
Burma police block Suu Kyi visit
Aung San Suu Kyi pictured at her home in 1995
Suu Kyi has held secret talks with the government
Officials from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) say they have been prevented from seeing Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest in Rangoon.

They said police refused to let them through a checkpoint blocking the road to the house.

I was very disappointed that I couldn't see her [Aung San Suu Kyi]

Francis Maupain, ILO
The two officials were at the end of a week-long visit to Burma to check whether the government had put an end to the practice of forced labour.

A senior ILO official, Kari Tapiola, said on Sunday there was still no evidence the Burmese military government was willing to accept assistance to end forced labour.

A spokesman for the ILO in Geneva said the terms of the visit required officials to be allowed freedom of movement and access to leading political figures.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been held under virtual house arrest since September 2000.

For much of that time, the government has been involved in secret talks with Ms Suu Kyi and her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

More than 200 political prisoners have been released by the government, but there are estimated to be more than 1,500 still in jail.

Security mix up

The head of the ILO delegation, Francis Maupain said he was "very disappointed" not to have been allowed to see Aung San Suu Kyi.

Policemen refused to lift a barrier as cars carrying Mr Maupain and ILO secretary Richard Horsey approached her lakeside home.

NLD secretary U Lwin said there seemed to have been a mix up over security clearance.

"Security said they wanted to allow the ILO team through the checkpoint but without proper clearance they couldn't do it, " he said.

See also:

19 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
UN envoy 'satisfied' with Burma trip
12 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Burma's generals feel the heat
30 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
Aung San Suu Kyi meets Burma general
15 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
ILO builds pressure over forced labour
05 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Burma's slow road to reform
11 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Aung San Suu Kyi urges caution
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