Britain calls for release of Suu Kyi

Britain calls for release of Suu Kyi

Britain challenged on Sunday Myanmar's military rulers to release imprisoned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and implement democratic reforms in the isolated state.

"Now is the time for transition to democracy starting with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi," Britain's Minister for International Defence and Security Ann Taylor told a summit on Asian security in Singapore.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest. The democracy advocate is currently standing trial on charges of breaking the terms of her house arrest.

"Aung San Suu Kyi is not alone," Taylor said.

Myanmar's military junta has been continually criticized for human right abuses.

On Saturday, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates seized the opportunity at the Shangri-la dialogue in Singapore to also press for a "real change" in Myanmar and the release of all political prisoners including Suu Kyi.

Gates described Myanmar as "one of the isolated, desolate exceptions to the growing prosperity and freedom" in Asia.

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