The military rulers of Myanmar appeared to bow to international pressure today, by opening the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi to foreign journalists and diplomats. The junta accuses her of breaching the terms of her house arrest, by colluding with an eccentric American who swam across a lake and entered her home uninvited.
Security was tight around the court at Yangon’s notorious Insein jail, for a trial denounced even by Myanmar’s usually-close mouthed neighbours. In a rare critical statement, the Association of South-East Asian Nations called for Suu Kyi to be released. Less-restrained protests erupted across the region. In Bangkok, Buddhist monks besieged the Myanmar embassy calling for her freedom. Suu Kyi has been under arrest for 13 of the past 19 years. Her democratic opposition party won Myanmar’s last election in 1990, but the junta ignored the results.