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Europe and Asia urge release of Myanmar prisoners

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Europe and Asia urge release of Myanmar prisoners

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Myanmar has come under renewed pressure to release pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

At a meeting of Asian and European foreign ministers in Vietnam, Britain indicated that the tide of opinion is starting to turn against the country’s military rulers. Britain’s junior foreign minister, Bill Ramell said: “I detect a change in tone from the Asian neighbours, whereas previously the first point of reference was, “this is a matter for Burma, it is a matter of sovereignty.” Now there is a willingness to acknowledge what Burma is doing has actually cost the rest of the region. The regime today lifted Suu Kyi’s current house arrest a day before it expired. But she remains in detention while her trial continues on charges of breaking the terms of that order. She faces five years in jail if convicted of allowing an American intruder to stay at her home. Suu Kyi, one of more than 2,000 political prisoners in Myanmar, has been incarcerated for more than 13 of the past 19 years. Most of it has been spent at her lakeside Yangon home under police guard, her mail intercepted and visitors restricted.