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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi writes to junta on sanctions: lawyer

world Updated: Sep 26, 2009 12:57 IST

Detained Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has written to the chief of the ruling junta with suggestions about how to get Western sanctions lifted, her lawyer said on Saturday.

The move represents a change of heart for the Nobel Peace Laureate, who has previously espoused punitive measures against the military regime as a way of pushing for democratic reform in the Southeast Asian nation.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has written a letter to Senior General Than Shwe regarding her thinking on the lifting of sanctions that have been imposed on the country," her lawyer Nyan Win told AFP.

"In the letter she submits her thinking about what must be implemented for sanctions to be lifted," said Nyan Win, who is also the spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD).

Nyan Win would not give further details about what the suggestions were, saying that they were waiting for the letter to be formally received by the government.

The move comes just days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced plans for a major policy shift that would see Washington engaging with Myanmar's ruling generals.

Clinton raised the possibility of an eventual easing or lifting of sanctions if US engagement produces political changes in Myanmar, a statement that was welcomed by Suu Kyi earlier this week.

The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Myanmar due to its continued detention of Suu Kyi and its refusal to recognise the NLD's victory in the country's last elections in 1990.

The junta sentenced the 64-year-old Suu Kyi to an extra 18 months in detention at her lakeside home in August after an incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her house.

The move effectively ruled the 64-year-old out of elections due in 2010 that the ruling generals have promised in Myanmar, which was previously known as Burma.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962, with brutal crackdowns on anti-junta protests in 1988 and 2007.