Myanmarese protest in New Delhi, demand Suu Kyi's freedom

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New Delhi, June 6 : Scores of Myanmarese landed at the Myanmar embassy in New Delhi today to protest against the extension of house arrest of their icon Aung San Suu Kyi by the military junta.

Equipped with paints and brushes, around 35 protesters painted the gates and walls of the embassy with words 'Free Burma', 'Free Aung San Suu Kyi'.

While demanding the release of Suu Kyi, the protesters also shouted slogans against the military junta.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to U Khi Thein, the Myanmarese Ambassador in India, requesting him to convey their demand to the military led government.

The memorandum said, "The restrictions imposed on international relief aid, where victims desperately need food, water, medicines and shelter is pushing Burma's cyclone affected people towards a hellish situation and changing the natural calamity to a man-made tragedy." They demanded urgent action to be taken by military government to grant visa and allow international aid workers and also permit them unrestricted access into the affected Irrawaddy delta areas hit by the cyclone Nargis.

Later the embassy officials were seen trying to cover the slogans with white paint as the police rounded off the protesters.

The ruling military junta in Myanmar has extended Suu house arrest by a year.

Oxford-educated Suu Kyi, 62, has been under house arrest or in prison for nearly 13 of the last 18 years.

The extension of house arrest of Suu Kyi is likely to dismay Western donor nations which have pledged tens of millions of dollars in conditional aid since cyclone Nargis hit on May 2, leaving up to 2.4 million people destitute.

Several Western governments have also criticised the 10-member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Myanmar is a member, for failing to pressurize Myanmar's military junta both over Suu Kyi's detention and more recently for dragging its feet on accepting foreign help in dealing with the cyclone's devastation.

ANI

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