Feb 23, 2011

Top US senator 'deeply concerned' for Suu Kyi safety

US Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell, said Tuesday he had spoken by telephone with Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi and was "deeply concerned" about her safety.
"I am deeply concerned about the junta's recent threats to her wellbeing and those of her National League for Democracy colleagues," McConnell, a fierce and frequent critic of Myanmar's military rulers, said in a statement.
"Such efforts at intimidation are an outrage and should be universally condemned by those around the world who value freedom and democracy. Along with my colleagues in the Senate, I will continue to closely monitor Suu Kyi's safety and the situation in Burma," said the senator.
State media in Myanmar warned in a recent commentary that Suu Kyi and her party will "meet their tragic ends" if they keep up their opposition to an end to Western sanctions.
The remarks follow a recent statement by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) that argued that the punitive measures were helping to pressure the authorities and had not affected the economy significantly.
It was the first explicit criticism of her by state media since her release in November after seven years of house arrest, days after an election that was denounced by democracy activists and the West.
The NLD reacted cautiously to the commentary, saying it had not received any official response from the authorities to its statement on sanctions.
Still, McConnell said Suu Kyi was "in good spirits and remains a vigorous champion for the people of Burma."