Philippines calls on Myanmar to release Suu Kyi now

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SINGAPORE, Nov 21 (Reuters) The Philippines broke ranks with other Southeast Asian countries today by attacking Myanmar's slow progress towards democracy and called for the immediate release of Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

''We particularly deplore the treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi.

She must be released. Now,'' said a statement from the office of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, obtained by Reuters.

''Let me be clear: we embrace the advances of ASEAN but remain concerned about the pace of progress of Myanmar on the issue of human rights,'' Arroyo said in the statement.

REUTERS RJ AS1600

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