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AFP-Aung San Suu Kyi asks women of

Subject: AFP-Aung San Suu Kyi asks women of Myanmar to work for democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi asks women of Myanmar to work for democracy
BANGKOK, June 19 (AFP) - Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on the
women of Myanmar Saturday to strive with "firm hearts and minds" for a
future of freedom and democracy.
In a message marking Women's Day in Myanmar, the Nobel peace prize winner,
who turned 54 Saturday, noted that many psychologists believed women were
superior to men in dealing with crises.

"We should use this ability to bring peace and progress to our country, and
to better the condition of peoples the world over," she said in a message
sent to AFP.

"It is no longer possible for housewives even to keep out of politics,
because politics has invaded the traditional domain of housewives.

"The root cause of upward spiralling commodity prices, greatly increased
charges for electricity, and rising costs of education and health care is a
political one," she said.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has been locked in a
bitter struggle with the military government since winning by a landslide in
the 1990 elections which the generals have refused to recognise.

Her message also included a call on women of Myanmar's myriad ethnic
minorities to strive together for peace, and words of support for "refugee
sisters" driven into exile by fear of the military.

"We are working hard that you may be able to come back soon to a Burma that
will be a refuge for all our ethnic nationalities. Please do no lose heart."

Special mention was also reserved for women prisoners and their wives and
daughters of detained activists who were making "so many scrifices for the
cause of democracy."

Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent years under house arrest, currently enjoys
only limited freedom of movement in Yangon.

She turned down an offer by the government to visit her dying husband
Michael Aris in Britain earlier this year, fearing she would not be allowed
to return.

Her two grown up sons have however been allowed to visit her since Aris died
in Britain from cancer this month.

Thirty exiled students meanwhile held a demonstration outside the Myanmar
embassy in Bangkok to mark Women's Day and Aung San Suu Kyi's birthday.

In a statement, the students called on the government to cease violations of
women's rights, to hand over power to the NLD and to stop using "political
black magic" to keep the party out of Myanmar politics in future.