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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Burma extends Suu Kyi's detention
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since May 2003
Burma's military rulers have extended the detention under house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, government officials have said.

Ms Suu Kyi's latest period under house arrest expired on Saturday, raising hopes that she would be released.

The pro-democracy leader has been held since May 2003, and has spent 10 of the last 16 years under house arrest.

On Friday UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed to the head of Burma's military junta to free Ms Suu Kyi.

"I am relying on you, General Than Shwe, to do the right thing," Mr Annan said, addressing the head of the junta.

But within hours Burma said Ms Suu Kyi, 60, would remain in detention.

Anniversary

Security around her home in the capital Rangoon was stepped up ahead of the announcement and remained in place after Ms Suu Kyi's continued detention was confirmed.

Officials would not say how long her house arrest has been extended for.

This is a big disappointment and a major setback to national reconciliation
Nyan Win
National League for Democracy
Members of her National League for Democracy are preparing to mark the 16th anniversary of their party's landslide election victory, which falls on Saturday.

However the victory was never recognised by the junta, which has ruled the country - which it calls Myanmar - since a coup in 1962.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, admitted the news from the junta was a blow to their hopes: "This is a big disappointment and a major setback to national reconciliation," he said.

Government ministers from Thailand and Malaysia also expressed their disappointment with the decision.

"We would like to see Myanmar back in the realm of the international community, so progress in national reconciliation is something of importance," said Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon.

Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, while still under house arrest.


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