`Myanmar Generals sign Suu Kyi release order`

Reports claimed that top Myanmar Generals have signed the order for Suu Kyi`s release.

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 00:45 AM IST

Yangon: Thousands of supporters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi have starting pouring in at the headquarters of her political party after it was reported Friday that top Myanmar Generals have formally signed the order for her release.

The Nobel peace prize winner, who has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years, is expected to be released from years of detention on Saturday.

Although, there has been no official confirmation about her release, but the increased police activity outside Suu Kyi’s house in Rangoon suggests that proceedings have begun to set her free.

However, the pro-democracy leader is not expected to accept a conditional release if it excludes her from political activity.

The Nobel laureate has become a symbol for a struggle to rid the Southeast Asian country of decades of military rule.

The country held its first election in two decades last weekend in what the ruling junta called a major step toward democracy, but Suu Kyi was barred from participating and critics have called the polling a sham aimed at cementing the military`s power.

"There is no law to hold (Suu Kyi) for another day. Her detention period expires on Saturday and she will be released," her lawyer, Nyan Win, told reporters.

So far the ruling junta has not confirmed she will be set free, but government officials have quietly said they are making "necessary security preparations" for this weekend.

Just days ahead of her expected release, state media announced Thursday that the pro-junta political party had secured a majority in both houses of Parliament in last Sunday`s elections.

The partial results showed the Union Solidarity and Development Party had won 190 of 219 constituencies reported in the 330-seat Lower House and 95 of 107 seats in the 168-seat Upper House.

Top members of the ruling junta were among those who won seats, including Prime Minister Thein Sein, who also heads the USDP.

The victory is a clear sign that the military, in civilian guise, will continue to control the country for the foreseeable future.

If she is released, Suu Kyi, 65, plans to help her disbanded party probe allegations of election fraud, said Nyan Win, who is also a spokesman for the party.
Re-entering politics, especially in a manner that would embarrass the junta, poses the sort of challenge that the military has met in the past by detaining Suu Kyi. While her National League for Democracy was disbanded because it refused to participate in the elections, it remains enormously popular as a social movement.

The NLD`s dilapidated headquarters in Yangon has been bustling with party members cleaning her one-time office and changing the curtains.

Nyan Win said Suu Kyi would meet with the NLD`s central committee, members of the media and the public after her release from her lakeside villa. He noted that after earlier periods of detention she always visited the Shwedagon pagoda, one of Myanmar`s most scared sites.
More than 25 young members of Suu Kyi`s party were planning to donate blood at hospitals as a gesture of welcome for her.

Suu Kyi`s current detention began in May 2003 after her motorcade was ambushed in northern Myanmar by a government-backed mob. The detention period was extended in August of this year when a court convicted her of briefly sheltering an American intruder who came to her house uninvited.

Bureau Report