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Suu Kyi's party sells art to help prisoners

Myanmar's main opposition party, NLD, opened an art sale to raise money to help hundreds of political prisoners and their families.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 17:31 IST

Myanmar's opposition party, which is led by the detained Aung San Suu Kyi, opened an art sale on Tuesday to raise money to help hundreds of political prisoners and their families.

"Artists from around the country who sympathise with us will sell their artwork and donate all the money they receive to NLD's central humanitarian assistance committee," said Myint Thein, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD).

The more than 50 politically inspired paintings and sculptures include a bronze bust of Aung San Suu Kyi and a picture of her home where she is under house arrest.

The money will go to buy medicine for political prisoners, who often are given little access to medical treatment, and to help support their families, Myint Thein said.

The United Nations estimates that Myanmar has some 1,100 political prisoners, and Myint Thein said the party's fund to support them was facing financial difficulties because of the enormous need for help among prisoners' families.

The paintings were priced between $50 and 600 -- astronomical sums in this impoverished country, but the party hopes diplomats and wealthy supporters in Yangon will decide to buy.

"I hope all the paintings sell out. There are some masterpieces by famous artists, but of course they don't want to sign their names," said Myint Ngwe, 42, an NLD member and artist who donated two works to the sale.

First Published: Jan 02, 2007 17:31 IST