Suu Kyi home after being forcibly moved from Yangon station


YANGON, AFP

Security forces Friday surrounded the home of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been removed from Yangon train station early in the morning, witnesses said.

Aung San Suu Kyi had to be removed from Yangon station by security personnel because “she lashed out at a station cleaning crew before being asked to leave by station authorities,” the Yangon junta said in a statement.

The Nobel laureate had arrived at Yangon station Thursday afternoon having said she wanted to take a train to the northern city of Mandalay.

But when she was told there were no tickets left for the former capital, she and her party refused to leave the station, the junta said.

“They became abusive toward the station cleaning staff, and had to be escorted from the building at approximately 1:00 a.m. Friday (1830 GMT Thursday).”

Aung San Suu Kyi “is now at home, and the government is investigating the incident,” it said.

Witnesses said they saw the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader escorted back to her house by six military police cars on Friday after being prevented from boarding the train.

Nine members of the NLD including deputy leader Tin Oo went with Aung San Suu Kyi back to her house and no one had come out of her house since 105 a.m., witnesses said.

A tight security cordon of at least fifty military intelligence officers was placed around Aung San Suu Kyi’s house Friday, with intelligence surrounding the buildings and keeping all nearby businesses and shops shut.

Diplomats who had attempted to visit the NLD leader Friday afternoon were turned away outside her compound and prevented from nearing the house, Western diplomats said.

There was a lighter military intelligence presence at NLD headquarters in downtown Yangon, where several NLD members were seen inside but no meeting appeared to be occurring, witnesses said.

Aung San Suu Kyi had reportedly wished to travel to the northern city of Mandalay to check reports of a crackdown on NLD offices.

While she was prevented from boarding the train, about 100 of her supporters were also herded into trucks by military police at the station and taken to an undisclosed location.

Trains had departed full but witnesses said they suspected the passengers had boarded the trains at the far side of the station.

The United States strongly condemned the NLD leader’s removal from the station.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a statement,”the blatant, heavy handed action is only the latest outrage committed against Aung San Suu Kyi and other party leaders by Burmese authorities.

“It is unacceptable,” Albright said.

“The United States holds the Burmese government responsible for their safety and welfare and calls for the immediate restoration of their freedom of movement and access to others, including foreign diplomats.”

The junta last week ended the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi following a nine-day roadside showdown but barred her from leaving the capital.

Aung San Suu Kyi and the other members of the NLD central executive committee had been placed under virtual house arrest on Sept. 2, after they tried to attend a party meeting outside Yangon.