Burma Allows Suu Kyi to Meet Ailing Party Elders

Burma's military authorities have agreed to allow detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit old and ailing party leaders at an undisclosed location, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party said Tuesday.

The meeting will take place Wednesday at a location chosen by the government, said Suu Kyi's lawyer and spokesman Nyan Win, who with three other lawyers visited the Nobel peace laureate for two hours Tuesday at her lakeside house in Rangoon where she is detained.

In a Nov. 11 letter to Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the head of the country's junta, Suu Kyi sought permission to meet several elderly colleagues, and separately with other members of her party's central executive committee. She also requested a meeting with the junta chief to discuss how they can cooperate for the national interest.

The government's liaison with Suu Kyi, Relations Minister Aung Kyi, informed her that she will be allowed to meet the elderly party leaders, though not where she requested, at their homes, Nyan Win said. Police chief Brig. Gen. Khin Yi visited Suu Kyi and party Chairman Aung Shwe to make arrangements for the meeting, the spokesman added.

Suu Kyi will be allowed to meet party chairman Aung Shwe, 91, Secretary U Lwin, 86, who has a spinal problem, and Lun Tin, 88.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is optimistic that the government will fulfill all her three requests," said Nyan Win who described her as "jovial, spirited and in good health." Daw is a term of respect used for older women.

Suu Kyi's legal team will present their arguments at the Supreme Court next Monday appealing against the extension of her house arrest. She has been detained for about 14 of the past 20 years.

Her party won the last elections held in Burma in 1990, but the military refused to hand over power.