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US Congressman marks Aung San Suu K

Agence France Presse

June 20, 2001, Wednesday

US Congressman marks Aung San Suu Kyi's birthday with import ban bill

A leading human rights activist in the US Congress on Tuesday marked the 
56th birthday of Myanmar
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi by introducing a bill that would ban all 
imports from the
military-ruled country.

"The Rangoon regime rules with an iron fist, routinely abusing its own 
citizens, cracking down on
democratic opposition leaders, and flouting all international human rights 
standards," said Democrat
Congressman Tom Lantos, the bill's sponsor.

"The sanctions regime currently in place bans US investment in Burma but 
permits Burmese imports to
the United States," Lantos said, using the country's former name, which was 
changed by the ruling

"The Burmese regime is exploiting this legal loophole to bankroll its 
forced labor camps and other
repressive activity."

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide 
victory in elections in
1990 but the junta failed to recognise the result.

Since then she has faced periods of house arrest, and hundreds of 
opposition activists have been jailed
and harassed by the authorities.

Recently the NLD leader has been engaged in a secret dialogue with the 
junta, but few details of the
progress of the talks have leaked out.

Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Yangon, then known as Rangoon, on June 19 1945.