Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Suu Kyi, NLD leaders confident of her release in November

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party’s leaders expect the term of her house arrest to expire in November and her release at that time, her lawyers said on Wednesday.

Lawyers Nyan Win and Kyi Win were permitted to meet Suu Kyi from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday at her ageing lakeside villa on University Avenue, Rangoon.

“Her prison term will be due to end in November. Legally there is no reason for the junta to continue her prison term as she did not commit any offences. So she said that she expected to be be released at that time,” lawyer Nyan Win told Mizzima.

Rangoon Northern District court sentenced her to a three-year jail term with hard labour on August 11 last year under section 22 of the 1975 Law Safeguarding the State from the Danger of Subversive Elements, for harbouring and “entertaining” US citizen John Yettaw, who had twice swum across Inya Lake and entered her house uninvited.

However, amid international pressure, junta leader Senior General Than Shwe commuted her sentence to 18 months and ordered that the remainder be served under house arrest.

NLD central executive committee member Win Tin said he believed the sentence could not be extended as it had in the past because it was passed by the trial court.

“This time Daw Aung San Sui Kyi’s house arrest term is not classified as a political case as she was punished with an ordinary offence, so she must be released when her house arrest term is due. So I do believe she will be released by that time”, he said.

Party central executive committee member and spokesman, lawyer Nyan Win, also said, “I absolutely believe she would be released by that time or even earlier. It depends on the order that will be issued by Senior General Than Shwe.”

Meanwhile, the authorities responsible for security at her house told Suu Kyi she must complete renovations under way by the end of this month. Plastering the walls, painting and replacing broken glass was as yet unfinished, he said.

“We’ll do our best to complete the work in time but it still needs three more weeks. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi instructed her engineering team to plan the work and carry out thorough estimates and resubmit their proposal,” Nyan Win said.

Also discussed was Suu Kyi’s special appeal case over which she instructed the lawyers to write their arguments clearly. They filed her appeal against the Rangoon High Court’s ruling but the court has yet to provide a date to hear legal argument from both sides.

Win Tin said Suu Kyi firmly believed the people of Burma would enthusiastically rally around and follow her when she was released.

“The people cheered and clapped their hands when other prisoners including me were released. But our release was like the watering of a plant that could refresh and replenish only that plant,” he said. 

“But the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be like the heavy rain that can green an entire forest and all the flowers will be blooming. The whole picture of political atmosphere in Burma will be drastically changed and the people of Burma will be mobilised and will extend their welcoming arms to Daw Suu,” he said, using the Burmese honorific for a woman. 

“I firmly believe the people of Burma will enthusiastically follow the political leadership of Daw Suu”, he added.

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