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US concerned about Suu Kyi`s safety

State media in Myanmar recently warned that Suu Kyi will meet "tragic end".

Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 12:54 PM IST

Washington: The United States voiced concern on Wednesday for the safety of Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi after published threats against her, saying the authorities had a duty to protect her.

"We remain concerned about Aung San Suu Kyi`s safety and security," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

"This is a fundamental responsibility of Burmese authorities to ensure her safety and that of all Burmese citizens," Crowley said, referring to Myanmar`s former name.

State media in Myanmar warned in a recent commentary that Suu Kyi and her party will "meet their tragic ends" if they keep up their opposition to an end to Western sanctions.

The remarks follow a recent statement by Suu Kyi`s National League for Democracy (NLD) that argued that the punitive measures were helping to pressure the authorities and had not affected the economy significantly.

It was the first explicit criticism of the Nobel Peace Prize winner by state media since her release in November after seven years of house arrest, days after an election that was denounced by democracy activists and the West.

The NLD reacted cautiously to the commentary, saying it had not received any official response from the authorities to its statement on sanctions.

"Burma needs to recognise the legitimacy of the National League for Democracy," Crowley said.

He added the military junta ruling Mynmar "should immediately release all political prisoners" as well as begin "a genuine and inclusive dialogue" with its opponents.

Bureau Report