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Burma's Suu Kyi on 1st political tr

                                  Burma's Suu Kyi on 1st political trip
                                  since releas
                                  03:34 a.m. Oct 23, 1997 Eastern

                                  RANGOON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Burmese
                                  leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week
travelled on her
                                  first political trip outside the capital
since being
                                  released from house arrest two years ago,
                                  sources said on Thursday.

                                  A division-level official of Suu Kyi's
National League
                                  for Democracy (NLD) party said the 1991
                                  Peace laureate went to a town on the
outskirts of
                                  Rangoon on Tuesday to organise the youth
NLD wing
                                  and speak to supporters.

                                  ``Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, accompanied by
                                  Chairman U Tin Oo, central executive
                                  member...U Soe Myint and some elected NLD
                                  representatives, went to Thakata
                                  Tuesday morning,'' a divisional level NLD
 official told

                                  He said Suu Kyi's trip went off without
                                  interference from authorities. The NLD
won a
                                  landslide victory in a 1990 election but
the military
                                  government refused to recognise the

                                  Suu Kyi, who was officially released from
 six years of
                                  house arrest in July 1995, has been under
                                  surveillance since last December. Her
visitors are
                                  limited, her telephone is cut and her

                                  She made several aborted attempts,
including a
                                  widely publicised train trip to Mandalay,
 to leave
                                  Rangoon on political business after being
                                  from house arrest. The trip to Mandalay
                                  abandoned after the train broke down.

                                  She was advised by officials not to
travel outside her
                                  lakeside home -- which has become the
                                  headquarters over the past two years --
for party

                                  The government has severely limited
activities by the
                                  NLD, stopping several large party
congresses, by
                                  arresting thousands of NLD officials over
 the past few

                                  Suu Kyi says the government has also
prevented local
                                  party offices across the country from
doing their work
                                  by pressuring NLD officials and
threatening them with

                                  Authorities put up barricades blocking
access to Suu
                                  Kyi's house and the road leading to it in
 late 1996.
                                  This put an end to popular weekend
                                  outside Suu Kyi's home which drew up to
                                  people who gathered to hear Suu Kyi and
other top
                                  NLD officials speak.

                                  Local analysts said Suu Kyi's visit to
Thakata could
                                  be a sign of improved relations between
the ruling
                                  State Law and Order Restoration Council
                                  and the NLD.

                                  ``We can say there is still hope for
understanding to
                                  grow between the NLD and the SLORC,'' one
                                  analyst said. ``Maybe this is a sign of
relaxation of the
                                  SLORC's control over the NLD.''

                                  He noted that the SLORC allowed the NLD
to hold a
                                  large party gathering at Suu Kyi's house
in late
                                  September to mark the party's ninth
anniversary. The
                                  meeting the previous year had been
stymied by the
                                  government. ^MORE@