“We have not seen each other for a long time. There are so many things to talk about. If you all want to listen, please come to the office [of the National League for Democracy] at 12:00 pm tomorrow”
~ Aung San Suu Kyi
She has appeared in front of a crowd of her supporters who rushed to her house in Rangoon when nearby barricades were removed by the security forces.
Earlier, ten people, including Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal physician, Dr Tin Myo Win, and senior members of her National League for Democracy party, had reportedly entered the pro-democracy leader’s compound, as security personnel removed the barbed wire barricades from in front of her home. Sources at the scene said that police guarding her home had also withdrawn. Nearly 10.000 people had gathered at the site hoping to see her as she emerged from seven and a half years of house arrest greeted news of her release jubilantly.
A Myanmar official had said Saturday that democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi had been freed from house arrest. “She is released now,” said the government official, who did not want to be named.
In the morning the number of people waiting for Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi to be released had reportedly reached at least 3,000, according to sources who are observing the situation near her house. “Some supporters shouted for her immediate release and then some leaders from the National League for Democracy came to control the situation,” said a source who spoke to The Irrawaddy at 3:30 pm local time. “A crowd is now surrounding the barbed wire blockade near Suu Kyi’s house, but so far security personnel have not tried to disperse them.”
Supporters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi had gathered outside her Inya Lake home in Rangoon and started to chant and shout messages of support to the detained Nobel laureate at around 1.35 p.m. local time. A crowd called for Suu Kyi to “live long and be healthy” according to sources at the scene. “An exciting momentum is taking place,” said one supporter who was wearing a “We Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi” T- shirt and holding a poster of her portrait. An observer from a Western embassy nearby said that police have surrounded Suu Kyi’s compound.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer said her sentence would expire at 7 pm on Saturday and could no longer be legally extended.
Aung San Suu Kyi did spend one extra, but likely final, night under house arrest, as she negotiated the terms of her release with the Burmese junta.
The regime signed the order this afternoon authorising her release. But Aung San Suu Kyi is understood to be demanding an unconditional release while the regime is attempting to restrict her from travelling around the country and limit her freedom to meet with supporters.
At dusk on Friday, U Win Tin, the NLD co-founder, appeared at the military roadblock outside the gates of her house where hundreds of supporters had gathered. He said Aung San Suu Kyi had been told she “could go this day”, but that it was likely it would be one more night before she emerged in public because of an impasse in negotiations.
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