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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi welcomes US ec

Subject: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi welcomes US economic sanctions on Burma

Daw Aung San  Suu Kyi welcomes US economic sanctions on Burma

(ADDS details of news conference)

RANGOON, April 25 (AFP) - Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday 
welcomed the US decision to impose economic sanctions on Burma because of 
continuing "large-scale repression" of the democracy movement.

Addressing an impromptu news conference at the home of a senior official in 
her National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi said she was pleased 
the United States "recognizes the gravity of the situation in Burma."

"It became increasingly clear that the authorities have no intention of 
letting up on the democratic opposition and I would have thought that that was 
the main reason why they (US) decided that enough was enough," she said.

The pro-democracy activist, who had repeatedly called for sanctions in order 
to put pressure on the ruling junta, dismissed the Association of Southeast 
Asian Nations' (ASEAN) opposition to the US decision as "rather predictable" 
as the grouping had never favored such action.

A number of ASEAN countries have already criticized the US sanctions and 
insisted that the move would not affect Burma's entrance into the grouping.

ASEAN -- which groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, 
Thailand and Vietnam -- is expected to welcome Burma as a full member later 
this year despite US and European objections.

Aung San Suu Kyi hailed US President Bill Clinton for proving his sincerity in 
imposing sanctions. "It's good to know that there are still people in the 
world who are serious about what they say and would do what they say," she 

She twitted the junta for saying that the sanctions would have no domestic 

"All those who have asked for sanctions can have a very clear conscience 
because, according to the words of the authorities themselves, it was not 
going to affect the country unfavorably in any way." 

Aung San Suu Kyi called again for talks with the junta, but noted: "The reason 
why we have not reached dialogue is because the authorities do not wish for 

Stressing that differences should be settled through dialogue, not repression, 
she said the NLD was ready for dialogue at any time and without any 

Between 1,000 and 2,000 prisoners of conscience are languishing in Burmese 
jails, with more than 300 arrested in the past year, she said.

Other subjects touched on in the news conference included the security checks 
barring access to her home and her frequently-interrupted telephone service. 
Breaks in service, she noted, were longer than ever.