Rumours are rife that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is close to release after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.
It is believed that Myanmar’s military rulers have signed documents authorising her liberation. There has been no confirmation or denial from the secretive ruling generals.
The pro-democracy leader’s house arrest term expires on Saturday.
Maung Zarni, a former dissident, who is now an academic says her release will galvanise the opposition:
“There is no formal opposition, so her release is going to represent an opportunity to reenergise and reorganise the opposition. So in that sense of revitalising the opposition in some concrete way, Suu Kyi’s release is going to be very pivotal.”
As word spread of her possible release hundreds of supporters headed to the site of her incarceration to lend support to the leader of the Burmese fight against dictatorship.
The country held its first elections in 20 years last week, which was won by the military’s Union Solidarity in a poll described by US President Obama as “anything but free and fair.”