Myanmar: Suu Kyi to appeal verdict

Updated On: Aug 31, 2009

Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's detained opposition leader, have said they will file an appeal this week against the criminal conviction that extended her house arrest by another 18 months.

Early this month a Myanmar district court found her guilty of violating the terms of her detention by sheltering an uninvited American visitor after he swam to her lakeside home.

The detention order prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from contesting in general election's planned by Myanmar's military government for next year.

Her appeal will be submitted to the Divisional Court in Yangon.

Western states and the UN has unanimously condemned the court’s ruling, and pressed for Aung San Suu Kyi’s verdict to be repealed.

Earlier in the week, US Senator Jim Webb, back from a rare trip to Myanmar, called sanctions against the military regime "overwhelmingly counterproductive" and asked the opposition to consider taking part in upcoming elections.

Webb, whose against-the-grain views on Myanmar have infuriated some activists, voiced concern that Western isolation of Myanmar pushed it into the arms of China, "furthering a dangerous strategic imbalance in the region."

Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think-tank, also faulted Webb on sanctions, saying that China and Southeast Asian nations provided a lifeline to Myanmar.

"It is demonstrably true that American sanctions have not brought about change in Burma," Lohman said.

"But the answer lies in building the necessary international consensus to pressure it, not abandoning the effort," he said.

China has stated its support for the court ruling against Aung San Suu Kyi.


Al-Jazeera, Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to Appeal, 28 August 2009, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/08/20098284314381600...

AFP, US senator lashes Myanmar Sanction, 28 August 2009,  http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h2wD46rd0gssuhZVHrDhp...

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