[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
UK MEP calls for action on Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi
She is a very composed, wonderful woman. She is a hero
Glenys Kinnock
British MEP Glenys Kinnock has called for UN and international action against Burma after pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's detention was extended.

Her latest period under house arrest expired on Saturday, raising hopes 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.

Mrs Kinnock said: "She is the only living Nobel peace prize winner who does not have her freedom."

The Labour MEP for Wales told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme there should now be a binding UN Security Council resolution that forms a contract with the ruling generals of the "pariah state", and moves them on a path to democracy.

Mrs Kinnock said: "Until we do that, they will continue to grandstand to the international community and use her as a trump card.

"Even if they had released Suu, she would have said 'OK, release me, but what next? What do you do for the people of Burma?' And the answer is nothing.

"This is the most oppressive, secretive regime in the world."

'Terrible suffering'

She said not enough pressure was being put on the ruling junta by either the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), whose member nations continued to trade with Burma, or by the European Union.

Mrs Kinnock said: "I would also like to see the EU doing more. We have a policy on sanctions and investments which doesn't work and makes no difference whatsoever.

Glenys Kinnock
Glenys Kinnock says Burma is secretive and oppressive

"The whole world just sits back and allows this country to languish in terrible, terrible suffering and millions of people need us to pay far more attention to their desperate, desperate needs."

She said conditions were worsening in the country known to its ruling group as Myanmar.

Mrs Kinnock said there were 16,000 displaced people because of extensive military action in the east of the country, as well as more than 1,000 political prisoners.

Meanwhile it was not possible to get humanitarian aid to the country, or to assist with drugs and medicine for HIV and Aids.

'Do right thing'

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and other supporters have called for 60-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi to be freed.

Visiting neighbouring Thailand on Friday, Mr Annan appealed to junta chief General Than Shwe "to do the right thing" to "allow the government and the people, not only to build the nation together, but to focus on the essential issue of economic and social development".

But the hopes of supporters were frustrated when police with batons were deployed at her home in capital Yangon, formerly Rangoon.

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

Mrs Kinnock said: "She is a very composed, wonderful woman. She is a hero."

Why Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific