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Myanmar eases security around Suu Kyi's home

Police forces have removed a barricade that had blocked most traffic to the street that passes in front of the Nobel winner's home.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2006 12:28 IST

Myanmar's military rulers have slightly eased security around pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's home, where she has been held under house arrest since May 2003, officials said on Thursday.

Special branch police forces have removed a barricade that had blocked most traffic to the street that passes in front of the Nobel Peace Prize winner's lakeside home, as well as a 'No entry' sign.

"The barrier was lifted for the convenience of cars that want to pass down the road," a home affairs ministry official told the agency.

"Now taxis can use this road from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, said they did not expect much change to result from the removal of the barrier, as security forces were still guarding both her home and the surrounding area.

"I cannot say she will be freed because of this," party spokesman U Lwin said. "I think it was because of traffic jams."

Myanmar has come under mounting international pressure to make good on its promises of democratic reform, and a regional envoy has insisted on visiting Aung San Suu Kyi during an eventual trip to the country.

The junta raised hackles when it said it was too busy moving its capital to receive the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) envoy, who had been expected to visit Yangon this month to check on progress towards democracy.

First Published: Jan 19, 2006 12:28 IST