Suu Kyi no longer popular with public: Myanmar
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Suu Kyi no longer popular with public: Myanmar

Information Minister Kyaw Hsann said the leader of National League for Democracy has lost popularity because of her wrong policies.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 13:12 IST

Myanmar's junta has claimed that detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi no longer enjoys wide public support in the military-ruled nation.

Information Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Hsann told Al Jazeera English that the Nobel peace laureate and her National League for Democracy (NLD) had lost popularity because of their "wrongful policies".

"The people no longer believe in her and her party. The people no longer like her or her party. She is no longer popular among the people," he said in an interview to be broadcast later this week.

"If they are still sticking to wrongful policies and harming the interests of the country and the people, no one will accept her or her party," he said.

The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 elections, but has never been allowed to govern.

The military, which has ruled Myanmar for four decades, has kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for most of the last 17 years.

However, during her brief spells of freedom, the daughter of Myanmar's revered independence hero General Aung San has drawn huge crowds, causing great unease among the ruling generals who fear a popular uprising.

Kyaw Hsann insisted that the crowds were merely "honest and simple" villagers who traditionally welcomed a guest or stranger.

"They went to see her just to meet her and to have a look at her. It doesn't mean they support her fully," he said.

Currently, Aung San Suu Kyi's only contact with the outside world is through periodic visits from her physician, although a senior UN envoy was allowed to meet with her twice this year, including a visit earlier this month.

Aung San Suu Kyi and her party have advocated a non-violent transition to democracy in the country.

Her detention has sparked an international outcry and widespread calls for her release.

The United Nations Security Council has agreed to consider the country's rights abuses, with the United States pushing for a resolution against the regime.

First Published: Nov 22, 2006 13:12 IST