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Police Block Dissident's Car in Myanmar

August 26, 2000|From Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar — Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was locked in a roadside standoff with police Friday, preparing to spend a second night in her car after being stopped while leaving Yangon.

It was Suu Kyi's first attempt to leave the capital in two years. In similar standoffs with the military in 1998, she remained in her car for nearly six days on one occasion and another time for 13 days.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party said in a statement that her being stopped from traveling by Myanmar's military government was illegal.

The military government said the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner was stopped for her own protection. "Due to threats of violence by armed insurgent separatist forces, travel by prominent persons to some parts of the country is at present inadvisable," a government statement said Friday.

Another government statement released late Friday said Suu Kyi and her travel companions "continue to rest" in the Yangon suburb where they were stopped. It said "the local authorities make every effort to ensure their comfort and safety."

Suu Kyi was heading to Kungyangon, 30 miles south of Yangon and where security problems have rarely been reported, for party organizational work when her car was stopped Thursday afternoon.

The U.S. and Britain deplored the military's action in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

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