Myanmar Opposition Groups Welcome U.N. Envoy's Assurance on Suu Kyi's Health

Myanmar's (searchopposition groups on Wednesday welcomed assurances by a U.N. envoy that Aung San Suu Kyi (searchis doing well in military detention, but echoed demands by world leaders for her immediate release.

U.N. envoy Razali Ismail (searchended a five-day mission to Myanmar on Tuesday after meeting with Suu Kyi for an hour -- the first outsider to see her since her arrest on May 30 following clashes between her supporters and government backers.

Razali, a Malaysian diplomat, later told reporters that Suu Kyi was unhurt in the clashes and that he expects Myanmar's military government to free her in about two weeks.

However, Suu Kyi's supporters and world leaders -- including U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Bush and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad -- say they want her freed immediately.

"We are very happy to learn that Aung San Suu Kyi is in good health and in good spirit," said San Aung, a senior member of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party living in exile in Australia. He was contacted by phone from Bangkok, Thailand.

"Now our concern is not about her health but our concern is whether (the junta) will release her soon," he said. "We are calling on the international community, especially United Nations, to put more pressure" on the government, he said.

Khun Tun Oo, the chairman of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, a second opposition party, said he was "happy to know" that Suu Kyi wasn't injured.

Myanmar's state-controlled media blacked out the news of Suu Kyi's meeting with Razali.

The current junta has ignored international demands to give up power it seized in 1988. The generals called national elections in 1990 but refused to honor the results that gave the National League for Democracy a resounding victory. The following year Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent struggle for democracy.

Suu Kyi and the junta began talks with Razali help in October 2000, but no tangible results have emerged. The May 30 incidents have further strained the government's credibility.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said in a statement Tuesday that Annan "remains seriously concerned" by Suu Kyi's continued detention.

"He, once again, strongly urges the Government of Myanmar to release her and other NLD leaders from the continued detention immediately and begin a dialogue aimed at national reconciliation without further delay," Eckhard said.

On Tuesday, Myanmar Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win issued a statement saying the "safe custody measures" against Suu Kyi would be lifted, but he did not say when.

Maung Win reiterated the government's assertion that the clashes that led to Suu Kyi's arrest were sparked when her motorcade tried to plow through thousands of pro-government protesters blocking the unlit road at night.

This resulted in a fight that left four people dead and 38 injured, he said.

He denied assertions by exiled opposition figures in Thailand that pro-junta thugs started the violence and that as many as 70 people were killed. The U.S. State Department has said evidence corroborates accounts of an ambush by junta supporters.