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Landlord held as Suu Kyi gets offic

Hongkong Standard (20 November 1997)

Landlord held as Suu Kyi gets office
RANGOON: The military government has arrested a landlord who agreed to
rent an office to democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party. 
Thaung Aye, owner of a building in the South Okkalapa township of
Rangoon, was arrested on Wednesday. The chairman of the Okkalapa branch
of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), Chit Khin, was also

Ms Suu Kyi had visited the township on Sunday to find a party office. 

The military government, which has ruled since 1962, says it is promoting
democracy in Burma. It did not respond to queries about the arrests. 

The military has blocked recent attempts by Ms Suu Kyi to conduct
meetings at various NLD offices around Rangoon by barricading the
locations, detaining her supporters and confining her movements. 

She is permitted to travel around the city provided she is not conducting
political work. 

The military has said it insists she conduct political meetings inside
her compound. 

Ms Suu Kyi has invited 800 members, families of political prisoners and
diplomats to attend a celebration to her home on Monday for Burma's
national day. 

The holiday commemorates a student uprising against British colonial rule
in 1920. 

In advance of the holiday, the NLD issued a statement on Thursday
renewing its call for the military government to engage in a dialogue
with the party aimed at solving Burma's political, social and economic

``Almost 50 years have passed since Burma gained independence, but Burma
is still lacking in democratic freedoms and human rights,'' it said. 

It urged the people to support the NLD in its struggle to bring democracy
to Burma. 

The recent shake-up of the military government weeded out corrupt
ministers and promoted some army officers, but was unlikely to yield
major policy changes soon, analysts and diplomats said. 

Burma's surprise creation of a new ruling body, the State Peace and
Development Council (SPDC), replacing the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (Slorc), was more of an effort to change the government's image
than to revamp its policies. 

``The name change is better and some people here are quite hopeful,'' one
Rangoon-based diplomat said. ``There are a lot of reasons for the
changes. But we haven't seen anything on new policies at all.'' _