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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 07:13 GMT 08:13 UK
Muted events for Suu Kyi birthday
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since May 2003
Supporters of jailed Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi are marking her 60th birthday amid renewed calls for her release.

In the capital, Rangoon, events were low key, with security around Ms Suu Kyi's home reportedly tightened.

Buddhist monks held prayers at her party's headquarters, and world leaders sent messages of support.

Ms Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has been under house arrest since May 2003.

She has spent 10 of the last 16 years in confinement.

Balloons and doves

As Ms Suu Kyi remained under guard, members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party gathered at their headquarters several miles away.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI
1990: National League for Democracy (NLD) wins general election while Suu Kyi under house arrest; military does not recognise the result
1991: Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1995: Released from house arrest, but movements restricted
2000-02: Second period of house arrest
May 2003: Detained after clash between NLD and government forces
Sep 2003 Allowed home after operation, but under effective house arrest

There, monks in orange robes said prayers while supporters released coloured balloons and doves in tribute to Ms Suu Kyi, who has become a symbol of non-violent resistance to oppression.

A group of elderly Burmese politicians, known as the Veteran Politicians Group, called for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma.

Messages of goodwill were paid to Ms Suu Kyi from around the world.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said people "look forward to the day when you can celebrate your birthday in a democratic and free Burma where fundamental human rights are respected".

Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi praised Ms Suu Kyi's "brave battle for democracy and human rights, which has been made more noble by the high price you have paid and are still paying".

The BBC's Tony Cheng in the Thai capital, Bangkok, says there is little sign that Ms Suu Kyi will be released soon, as her continued popularity makes her a threat that Burma's generals do not want to contend with.

The current military junta came to power in Burma in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

The NLD won elections in 1990, but Burma's ruling generals ignored the result.


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Watch images of Suu Kyi before she was imprisoned



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