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Suu Kyi Remembers Prisoners

Suu Kyi Remembers   Prisoners 

                         Monday, April 14, 1997 1:04 pm EDT 

                         RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Allowed a rare public appearance
                         Monday, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi urged
                         supporters not to forget the pro-democracy
activists jailed by
                         Burma's military regime. 

                         Suu Kyi spoke to 600 people at a Buddhist New Year's
                         celebration attended by members of her
pro-democracy party and
                         foreign diplomats. The event -- which raised funds
for political
                         prisoners -- was only the fourth large gathering
the military
                         government has allowed Suu Kyi to attend since it
barricaded the
                         roads to her home in September. 

                         ``We will never forget those who have sacrificed,''
Suu Kyi said.
                         ``In the transition to a new year, we will strive
with renewed
                         courage and spirit until we achieve our goal to
bring democracy
                         and human rights to the country.'' 

                         Suu Kyi spent six years under house arrest from
1989 to 1995 for
                         leading a nonviolent movement to end military rule
and restore
                         democracy. In 1991, she won the peace prize for her

                         Authorities arrested nearly 2,000 people last year
in central Burma
                         for political reasons, and many of the activists
are now serving long
                         prison terms, according to Amnesty International. 

                         Tensions are on the rise again in Burma. A mail
bomb killed the
                         daughter of the army chief of staff this month, and
monks have
                         ransacked mosques in Rangoon, Mandalay and other
cities in
                         recent weeks. 

                         Democracy activists in Bangkok who recently visited
                         said the Burmese capital was filled with heavily
armed soldiers. 

                         Barbed-wire barricades have been placed around the
Ministry of
                         Defense and the Sule Pagoda, a focal point for past
                         demonstrations in downtown Rangoon, and troops are
                         both sites. 

                         The government has laid down restrictions to try to
curb the
                         sometimes raucous celebrations for the Buddhist New
                         fearing the free-for-all atmosphere might lead some
to vent their
                         political dissatisfaction.