x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Supporters mark Suu Kyi's 65th birthday

Supporters of Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, marked her 65th birthday today amid renewed calls in the West for her release.

Supporters of Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, marked her 65th birthday today amid renewed calls in the West for her release. The Nobel peace prizewinner has spent 15 of the last 21 years in detention because of her fight for democracy in the army-ruled country, also known as Burma, and is under house arrest in her home in the former capital, Yangon. US President Barack Obama on Friday renewed a call for Myanmar's military rulers to release Suu Kyi and urged a dialogue for national reconciliation in the impoverished but gas-rich country which borders both India and China.

About 400 people, most of them members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), held a ceremony at the home of a party member in Yangon to celebrate Suu Kyi's birthday. Buddhist monks were offered breakfast early in the morning and later, caged birds were freed and books and stationery were given to the children of detained party members. Trees were planted inside a Buddhist monastery on the eve of her birthday, party official Aung Thein said.

Security men in plain clothes kept watch outside and photographed people turing up. Half a dozen truck loads of riot police were parked nearby but there was no trouble. *Reuters