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By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be charged in connection with an American man who allegedly swam to her lakeside villa in Yangon where she is under house arrest, a spokesman for her party said on Thursday.

Nyan Win of the National League for Democracy (NLD), quoting Suu Kyi's lawyer, said the Nobel Peace laureate would be moved to Yangon's Insein Prison later on Thursday to face trial.

The charges related to the apparent breach of her house arrest come only weeks before Suu Kyi's current detention order is due to expire on May 27. Her latest detention began in 2003.

State media reported on Wednesday night that a U.S. embassy official had been allowed to visit John Yettaw, who was arrested on May 6 after he claimed to have swam across Inya Lake and spent two days in Suu Kyi's home.

"The authorities will move Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her two female companions, Daw Khin Win and her daughter, to Insein Central Prison this morning to stand trial in connection with the American man who sneaked into her residence," Nyan Win told Reuters.

Suu Kyi's lawyer, Kyi Win, was not available for comment, but he told exiled Burmese media that Suu Kyi had not breached the conditions of her house arrest, under which visitors are restricted by the regime.

"Daw Suu told him to go back, but he didn't," Kyi Win told the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), using the honorific "Daw" for Burmese women.

"He said he was so tired and wanted to rest, but she pleaded with him. Then he slept overnight on the ground floor," Kyi Win said.

Suu Kyi, whose party won 1990 elections only to be denied power by the military which has ruled the former Burma for more than four decades, has been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years.

For most of those years she has been held virtually incommunicado at her home, with her telephone line cut and her mail intercepted.

Kyi Win told DVB that Suu Kyi's health was improving after she was treated for low blood pressure and dehydration last week.

"She looks okay. She has a very strong spirit," he said.

The United States and human rights groups have demanded that Suu Kyi be allowed to see her main doctor, Tin Myo Win, who was detained for questioning last week.

U.N. legal experts have said her confinement is illegal under Myanmar law, which allows for detention of five consecutive years before the accused must be freed or put on trial.

Suu Kyi's lawyer launched an appeal after her detention was extended last year, but it was rejected last month.

The generals have ignored international calls for Suu Kyi's release as they push ahead with a seven-step "roadmap to democracy" expected to culminate in multi-party elections in 2010.

The NLD and Western governments dismiss the "roadmap" and last year's army-drafted constitution as a cover for the generals to cement their grip on power.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Writing by Darren Schuettler; Editing by Valerie Lee)

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CFOB condemns Suu Kyi’s transfer to Insein, protest planned in Ottawa

Canadian Friends of Burma

May 14, 2009

Ottawa - The 1991 Noble Peace Prize winner and Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was transferred yesterday to the notorious Insein prison in Burma and has been charged with violating her house arrest. The Burmese military regime will be putting Burma’s most famous political prisoner on trial ostensibly because a foreigner secretly entered her house. American John Yettawa was arrested last week after he reportedly swam across Inya lake to Suu Kyi’s Rangoon residence where she has lived for much of the last 20 years under house arrest.

Regardless of what Mr. Yettaw’s intentions were, his uninvited visit couldn’t have come at a worse time as Suu Kyi’s house arrest was set to expire this month and the military regime will almost certainly be using this incident as an excuse to further her detention. Suu Kyi’s doctor has also been arrested, as has her house keeper and the housekeeper’s daughter.

CFPB strongly condemns the Burmese military regime’s continued imprisonment of Suu Kyi and the ridiculous show trial that is set to transpire. We call for the immediate release of Suu Kyi and the release of the more than 2,000 other political prisoners jailed in Burma's gulags. Says Tin Maung Htoo CFOB Executive Director “this latest attack on Daw Suu is a desperate attempt by an illegitimate regime to remove the National League for Democracy and its leader from the political scene in advance of next years election.â€

Ottawa Protest at Junta Embassy planned for Monday

Along with Burma supporters and Burmese activist communities from Ottawa, Toronto, and other cities, CFOB will be holding a protest on Monday May 18 in front of the Burmese military regime's Embassy to protest Suu Kyi's continued detention.

Place: Sidewalk opposite the Burmese Embassy, 85 Range Road, Ottawa (near the intersection of Templeton Street and Range road)

Date: May 18 (Monday), 2009

Time: 1:30 – 3:30pm

Place: Burmese Embassy, 85 Range Road, Ottawa

Direction: For Bus take the #5 and exit at Laurier and Range road (next to Strathcona Park). Or take #16 and get off at Range Road and Templeton if you are on the Bus heading towards Hospital. For #16 heading to Lincoln Fields get off near Chapel and Templeton and walk one block east on Templeton to Range Road.

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Media contact: 613-297-6835

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Canada Deeply Concerned Over New Charges Against Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

May 14, 2009 (6:40 p.m. EDT) No. 131

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement denouncing the continued, unlawful detention of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi:

“Canada is seriously concerned with the new charges laid against Aung San Suu Kyi, and calls upon the Burmese regime to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Burma.

“Recent concerns regarding Aung San Suu Kyi’s health will only be heightened by her transfer to harsh prison conditions. Canada strongly urges the Burmese authorities to provide appropriate medical care to all inmates in its prisons and to immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners, a number of whom suffer from serious health problems.

“Freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are values fundamental to Canada’s foreign policy. Canada believes that the elections planned for 2010 will only be credible if the Burmese regime unconditionally frees all political prisoners and allows opposition groups to participate freely in the electoral process.

“Canada continues to urge the Burmese authorities to engage in genuine dialogue with the democratic opposition and ethnic minorities. We have shown our solidarity with the people of Burma by imposing the toughest sanctions in the world on the regime and by conferring honorary Canadian citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi.â€

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

613-995-1874

www.international.gc.ca/index.aspx

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  • 2 weeks later...

Burma: Shock but Not Surprise

May 27th, 2009

OTTAWA -- The Green Party of Canada expresses its shock and outrage with the re-arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese leader and Nobel Peace Laureate. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party urges the Government of Canada to use all diplomatic avenues – both bilateral and international – to obtain the immediate release of Aung and other political detainees.

Ms. May stated, “The world recognizes this as another outrageous action of the Burmese dictatorship in Burma and asks that pressure be put on the military regime to release Aung immediately.â€

Aung San Suu Kyi, was arrested, accused of breaching her house arrest and locked up on May 14, just days before her 13 years of detention was due to expire. She is the greatest threat to the Junta's hold on power. Her moral leadership of the democracy movement and the legacy of her landslide victory in 1990 elections means that she is the only figure who could face down the military in elections. Joe Foster, Human Rights critic noted, “It is well understood by everyone that this is a pretext to keep her detained until after elections which are set for 2010.â€

The successive military dominated regimes, including the ruling SPDC, see Burma as an existing unified nation. As such, Burmese minorities such as the Shan, Kachin, Chin, Mon, Karen and Karenni are seen as groups that must be controlled and suppressed rather than building a country as a federation of states that embraces these differences. Thousands are in jail in inhumane conditions and denied any medical care, there are ongoing abuses of human rights, there is violent repression of ethnic groups, and over a million have been forced into refuge across the border.

Mr. Foster urges Burma to live up to its obligations as a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Charter which emphasizes the promotion of democracy, human rights and its UN obligations. ASEAN has called for the expediting of both its political reform efforts and its release of political detainees.

The Green Party calls on Canada to use its influence with ASEAN leaders and the UN Secretary General to secure Aung’s and all political prisoners' release immediately. It is believed that Aung is seriously ill and needs medical attention which is being denied.

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