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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi thanks birthday well-wishers: lawyer

world Updated: Jun 22, 2009 19:28 IST

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday thanked those around the world, who sent her birthday wishes as she turned 64 in jail facing trial by the ruling junta, her lawyer said.

The Nobel Laureate spent her birthday on Friday in Yangon’s notorious Insein prison on charges of breaching her house arrest, and supporters worldwide marked the day with calls for her release.

“She said she thanks those at home and abroad who wished her a happy birthday, because she cannot reply to everyone,” said her lawyer Nyan Win, after a two hour meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi in the prison.

He added that she was “in good health”.

Famous names including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Beatles star Paul McCartney and US actor George Clooney offered support on the website “64 for Suu” while events took place in more than 15 cities to mark her birthday.

The US State Department, in a birthday message, urged the junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi “immediately” and European Union leaders threatened to slap new sanctions on the Myanmar regime unless it released her.

The country’s junta has kept Aung San Suu Kyi in detention for 13 of the past 19 years, after refusing to recognise her National League for Democracy’s landslide victory in the country’s last elections in 1990.

She is currently imprisoned on charges that stem from a bizarre incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her lakeside home in May. She faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

The court case against her has been internationally condemned, described as a “show trial” by US President Barack Obama.

Myanmar’s top court will on Wednesday hear an appeal by her legal team to overturn a ban on two defence witnesses in the prison trial, which is set to resume on Friday.