Sep 17, 2008

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi Halts Food Rations Boycott

Sample ImageThe detained opposition leader has stopped her boycott after living conditions are relaxed.

Below is an article published by The Guardian :

Burma's detained opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has accepted food rations for the first time in a month.

A Burmese regime official today [17 September 2008] said a package of food left at the crumbling lakeside villa where she has spent 13 of the past 19 years was picked up yesterday evening [16 September 2008].

Nyan Win, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), said Suu Kyi had decided to resume collecting the supplies after the regime granted some of her demands over living conditions.

The acceptance of the food came amid concerns over the 63-year-old Nobel laureate's health. Her doctor, Tin Myo Win, examined her for four hours on Sunday [14 September 2008] and said she was malnourished after declining most of the regime's food since August 16 [2008].

Suu Kyi's lawyer, Kyi Win, said the doctor rejected suggestions the opposition leader had been staging a hunger strike. Suu Kyi and her two maids relied on the meagre food stocks they had kept at the house, he said.

Kyi Win was allowed to meet Suu Kyi four times over the past two months and discussed with the military ways in which the conditions of her detention might be relaxed.

On Friday [12 September 2008], the regime agreed she could receive letters from her two sons and newspapers and magazines such as Newsweek and Time, and that her maids would be allow to come and go freely, although they would be searched.

"She decided to accept the food again because the authorities allowed some points of her demands," said Nyan Win, although he was unable to confirm the official's assertion that the food had been collected.

"[Suu Kyi] told her lawyer that she is not on hunger strike, but managed by eating very limited food in those days."

The partial fasting had left her weak and she needed rest, he said. However, the lawyer had relayed a message to the regime saying she would like to talk to its liaison minister, Aung Kyi, after previously declining a meeting because of her fragile condition.

As part of an earlier agreement struck with the regime, Suu Kyi - whose NLD won the 1990 election by a landslide only to see the result ignored by the junta - will receive a twice-monthly visit from Dr Tin Myo Win in future.