Clooney, Beckham and Craig join ‘Free Suu Kyi’ chant Thursday, May 28 2009 

London: Hollywood actors George Clooney, Daniel Craig and soccer star David Beckham have joined forces with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in lending support to Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The A-listers were approached by campaign group ‘Not on Our Watch’ to pen messages of support for Suu Kyi, who has been fighting for democracy in the Asian country.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent the past decade under house arrest and the celebrities have been asked to write 64-word messages of support which will be delivered to Suu Kyi on her upcoming 64th birthday on June 19, British newspaper the Mirror reported online.

Stephen Fry, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Brown have also been asked to write messages for 63-year-old Suu Kyi. The message written by Bond star Daniel Craig says, “Nineteen years ago, the Burmese people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice: Free Aung San Suu Kyi.”

The leader has been held under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, and currently stands accused of breaking the terms of her confinement. The launch of the website is timed to coincide with the date her imprisonment should have stopped.


Obama calls for Suu Kyi release Wednesday, May 27 2009 

suu_kyiMs Suu Kyi’s trial has drawn international condemnation

US President Barack Obama has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a written statement, Mr Obama said he strongly condemned Ms Suu Kyi’s house arrest, which has lasted for most of the last 19 years. She is being tried for violating the terms of her detention in a case which has drawn widespread condemnation.

The Nobel laureate faces up to five years in jail, if convicted. “Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued detention, isolation, and show trial based on spurious charges cast serious doubt on the Burmese regime’s willingness to be a responsible member of the international community,” Mr Obama said in a statement.

“It is time for the Burmese government to drop all charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and unconditionally release her and her fellow political prisoners,” he added. Ms Suu Kyi, 63, had been due for release on Wednesday after her latest six-year detention, but was re-arrested this month after a visit to her house by a US man who had not been invited.

She took the stand for the first time on Tuesday to tell the court that she was not immediately aware of the late-night visit but was informed later by her assistant.  Ms Suu Kyi is widely expected to be convicted at the trial.