Statement on the arrest of the Leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi

Pretoria- The South African Government joins the international community in expressing grave concern about the arrest of the Leader of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

It is with regret that the South African Government learnt of the new charges against Aung San Suu Kyi’s less than two weeks before her house arrest was due to end. The South African Government also took note of the recent reports on Ms Suu Kyi’s poor health and fears that the arrest may worsen her condition.

The South African Government calls on the Authorities in Myanmar to release Ms Suu Kyi immediately.

For the general elections due to be held in Myanmar in 2010 to be as viewed free and fair, the process should be all inclusive and for this reason, the Military Government of Myanmar is urged to release political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi in order to participate in the electoral process.

The South African government reiterates its position that the solution to the current challenges facing the people of Myanmar lies in a negotiated political solution between the government and the opposition, culminating in all inclusive free and fair elections.

Issued by Nomfanelo Kota on 082 459 3787

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152

22 May 2009

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